Abstract Figures in the Windows of the Leeds City Museum
Dan Crooks (BA Fine Art, 2015) is from Sheffield and has lived in Leeds, London and Huddersfield. He currently lives and works in South Yorkshire. He tells us about his time studying at Goldsmiths and the Window Frame Project, a gallery space in the windows of the Leeds City Museum where his works are currently exhibited.
My experience at Goldsmiths and living in South London for three years was down to my friends who were fellow artists and students on other degrees, and also the staff at Goldsmiths. Living in London is quite special; it is a 24-hour city with amazing art galleries. Something is always going on, and you take advantage of it all. Nothing quite like it up north!
What I found to be invaluable was meeting people from around the world, quite literally almost every country. Diversity opens your eyes and your mind. In and out of the studios, the time there was great because my peers, artists like myself, would work together with different art practices and we would create the vibe for art to be produced, ideas to be made.
The tutors, who were also practising artists, were invaluable on the course – helping us out along the stages of our years at university, helping us understand what we do. Tutor and artist Laura White really helped me along and is a sculptor herself. Although I found the theory side of the fine art course quite tough at times, I did my best but have lost count of how many books I borrowed (but it was well into the hundreds!). The library was such an important resource and I’m excited to see the Goldsmiths Art Gallery built and open – I remember when I gave the winning architects a tour of the baths.
I took advantage of the workshops that were available and became a regular working away in them. I used most of them throughout my three years, including making the two large sculptures currently at Leeds City Museum. There were many things I enjoyed outside of the studio and it was important to take in a new city and take your course seriously, but also enjoy your time and utilise your time during study and in your social hours.
Goldsmiths has enabled me to push the boat with my work and my degree has expanded my knowledge and life experience. It enabled me to really explore my practice, into familiar and unfamiliar territory and has opened me towards creative jobs. I have had a number of exhibitions whilst at Goldsmiths and afterwards including currently exhibiting my works at the Window Frame Project.
The Window Frame project gives artists living, working or studying in Yorkshire the opportunity to exhibit their work in the main entrance at Leeds City Museum, and I have been chosen to show my work there until 2 July 2017. It is a great opportunity and great exposure for me. I am proud to have my work in a museum, especially one right next door to my study of art foundation, Leeds College of Art. My time as an artist before Goldsmiths was fantastic, studying and living in Leeds. Leeds opened the doors for me and so too has Goldsmiths, and it is great to come full circle exhibiting where it all began with pieces I created at Goldsmiths.