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James Bell

James BellFine Artist, Curator at Sarah&James Arts

BA Fine Art, 2011

What made you choose Middlesex University?

I was attracted to Middlesex University by the atmosphere. I studied at the older Cat Hill campus which felt like a little arts village, full of community and creativity.

What course did you study?

I originally studied BA Fine Art & Critical Theory but decided to leave the philosophy behind for my final two years and transferred over to the BA Fine Art course.

What attracted you to your course and made you apply?

The independence of study, vast studio space to create and fantastic facilities excited me. The unpretentious vibe.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

Spending a great amount of time in the studios with fellow creative minds, which is something that can become a rare experience post university. Watching other artists create incredible and inspirational work.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

When I think of life at Middlesex I think of the amazing friends who will be part of my life forever. 

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

Research the course in advance so that you are aware of expectations and truly get the most out of your learning experience once it begins.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?

The network of artists and other professionals I met during my studies has been important. Many of us still work together and share opportunities with each other. I often look over lecture and tutorial notes that are still relevant to my career today.

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

I create my own art and curate exhibitions and events for others because it fulfils me more than anything. I love to share my knowledge and help others to achieve recognition. Some people do not understand the value of arts and can be judgemental during your lowest moments; however they are always jealous once you reach success!

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

Last summer I was accepted on to an all-expenses paid residency in Atina, Italy where I worked with incredible artists and have since had work published in a book. An older memorable highlight would be my television interview in 2011 - the same year I graduated!

What does the future hold for you?


What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?

Work hard, network and be happy.

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

Be confident and don't let other people hold you back.

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