A conversation with Fine Artist Alumni Rebecca Molloy

Rebecca Molloy


What Course did you graduate in? Fine Art in 2008


What do you do now? I am a Fine Artist


What attracted you to Coventry University and the course you chose to study?


There was a link in between the college I was at in Leicester and Coventry. I visited a few different Universities in the Midlands. I really imagined myself in Coventry, I loved the feel of it, the studios, the tutors……… particularly the then life drawing studio. It just felt a good fit.


Did you do BTEC Foundation- who taught you?


I did! Not at Coventry though….it really made me realise that being an artist was what I really wanted to do. It was my career path.


Did you do a placement, Erasmus or work experience? What was it?


In the second year of Fine Art we had a module called professional practice, we had to put on an interim show. I choose to do an external show in Leicester, it was ambitious and not everyone did it…and as a result I am really proud of doing it.


What did you learn about yourself across the 3 years?


I realised I was an Artist and fell in love with that journey. My identity as a painter and my relationship with Art History. I learnt about the body and depicting the body through paint and the psychology behind it. I learnt a lot technique wise and understanding what happens between your eye and hand, observation and interpretation. I had to learn to overcome critical feedback to push my practice, also that art was my space…Coventry was a very stable space for me to spend time and I benefitted enormously from it.


Where did you go on a night out? Where you part of any social clubs?


I was pretty wedded to Leicester as I act as a support care worker for my family so I didn’t go out a huge amount…but I did go to The Campbell now The Phoenix quite a bit!


What international trips did you go on?


I didn’t go on any International trips on my BA out of choice but I did go down to London a lot and made the most of the galleries and exhibitions. Graham took us to lots of galleries off the beaten track.


What type or Artist/Designer would you describe yourself as, or what type of work did you produce?


My work is largely formed of installations that combine painting, sculpture and video; my works attempt to create an alternative understanding of the human body and its interactions with its surroundings. I combine these elements with humour and playfulness to create installations that are seemingly bright and inviting. Painting is at the core of my work  as it is used to transform surfaces, objects and video screens in order to envelop the viewer into an alternate painted reality. The components of painting are deconstructed and reorganized as sensations, colour and textures are strewn across objects, flattened into graphics and revealed in new forms of whipped cream, chocolate milk and hundreds and thousands. Even when painting seems all but abandoned, it is actually flourishing wildly amongst flowing pools of lava, wooden surfaces and plumes of ribbon.


How would you describe your course team in 3 words?


I had Jonathan Waller, Graham Chorlton, Jane Ball and a variety of visiting lecturers. I loved having drop ins from completely different staff, they are so removed from day to day teaching and immersed in their practice it was completely refreshing to get different points of views


Supportive, role-models and generous.


How did studying at Coventry University equip you with the skills you need for your career?


I was taught a lot of skills as an artist, but also given the opportunity to make sure your work had exposure, the interim show and degree show and I understood that your Art needs to have a platform to communicate.


What attracted you to working in the sector you now work in? How did you get yourself here?


I knew that being an artist was what I had to be and I worked ambitiously towards that. After graduating from Coventry I successfully worked as an Artist doing shows and started to get commissions. I found as an artist if I over thought my work it was less successful. So I changed the scale, worked smaller and more instinctively. After a period of time I decided to do an MA at CSM’s. I was very much a figurative painter, my MA (as many MA’s do) completely deconstructed my practice, its still all about the body but in context to space and performance.

What would you say to a student thinking of studying here and why?


Make the most of every opportunity and make the most of the spaces, you will never get that again!


What would you tell your first year self?


Hmmmmm, tough one….Not to take yourself so seriously but it was that that has got me here! So it is what it is. J


What would you do differently?


I did a show at Central St Martins called ‘Have fun, Seriously…Seriously, have fun’ there is a lot to be said for that!

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