However this semester has been particularly busy, because in addition to being deep into the syllabuses of my taught modules, my MSc Physics project has begun to demand more of my time. On top of this I have continued my membership with badminton and handball, as well as trying out a couple of new societies too.
The one activity that has captured my interest in particular has been ArtSoc – the University’s art society. I’ve always enjoyed doing creative pursuits and I spend a lot of time sketching when I have free time over the holidays, but I’ve never really found the time whilst at university. Over the summer break I spent many hours working on a drawing of a lobster, inspired by Alice Shirley’s ‘Giant Lobster’ and Salvador Dali’s famous surrealist piece ‘Lobster Telephone’.
The finished piece
Whilst I was on holiday in Bruges over the summer with my girlfriend, we discovered a Dali exhibition at the foot of the famous Belfort. It was a nice surprise to find because I didn’t know about it before I arrived and it was inspiring to see his work his real life. We also visited another gallery whilst we were in Belgium, called the Groeningemuseum, which displayed works from famous Belgian and Flemish artists that were split into distinct artistic movements. The main highlight of the gallery were the works of Jan Van Eyck, a fifteenth century resident of Bruges, which included the stunning ‘Virgin and Child with Canon ver der Paele’.
The Belfort, which housed the Dali exhibition on its ground floor.
The first ArtSoc event was a free taster session, in which members old and new got the chance to meet each other whilst practicing our portrait drawing skills. However, unlike a traditional portrait class, it was held in a speed dating-fashion, which meant we only had five minutes to draw the person we were paired with before everyone moved on to a new partner. I thought this was a really clever way of getting to know a lot of new people and it was great fun too!
This week’s ArtSoc event focussed on life drawing, which is something I’ve always wanted to try, but never had the chance to. The session gave me a chance to improve my ability to draw the human body in different poses and from a wide range of angles. After each pose it was interesting to compare sketches with other people to see their own technique and to observe how the drawings changed as you moved round the circle.
The other new activity that I have been trying out is Ultimate Frisbee, which is a very intense sport, because offense turns into defence in a blink of an eye, requiring you to have full concentration at all times. In our first training session we were taught how to throw the Frisbee backhand (the way people naturally do it) and also in a forehand manner, which was very challenging, but I think I’ve just about mastered it now!
Trying to fit all of these activities in has meant that the past three weeks have flown by, but nevertheless I have really enjoyed re-immersing myself into University life and can’t wait to see what the rest of semester one brings!