Birkbeck student wins national competition
A former Birkbeck student, artist Liz Atkin has recently won the 2010 British Women Artists Competition. Liz has spoken about how her courses in dance at Birkbeck contributed to her success.
'I was lucky enough to complete both the Foundation and Diploma courses in dance at Birkbeck (2001-2003), and these part-time courses had a significant impact on my creative journey and my life.
'I came to Birkbeck with a BA in drama and theatre and a background in art. The remarkable teaching in choreography, contemporary technique and choreological studies on the dance courses built a deep foundation in movement for me in the broadest sense and I came to understand how this could be fused with the art forms I already knew.
'Learning with other adults of different backgrounds and experiences in movement and dance provided a very rich learning experience for me. I found genuine passion and support from my peers at Birkbeck. From the mentoring and guidance of exceptional teachers, I learnt to take important creative risks, find a fearless voice and follow intuitive lines of enquiry in performance practice. The rigorous experiences at Birkbeck enabled me to build confidence in my creativity and most importantly of all, developed an informed understanding of movement which came through experience; this lead me into a new creative life.
'From my experiences at Birkbeck, I knew I wanted to study dance further at an academic level, and I completed an MA in European Dance Theatre at Laban in 2007 with Distinction.
'I have since gone on to develop a creative career as an artist. Skin is my primary source for corporeal art, both as metaphorical membrane and physical boundary. Since 2007 I have exhibited my work in London in several solo and group exhibitions including Siobhan Davies Studios in 2009. In 2008 I was the only international artist in residence in Los Angeles on the Genesis Project for artists working with and through the body. In April 2010 I joined Havelock Walk in South London, a creative community of sculptors, painters, designers, photographers and other visual artists. I am currently forging new collaborations with Gary Lambert (dancer/choreographer), Hagit Yakira (choreographer), Lenka H Ryan (photographer), Oliver Warren (film maker) and Dr Simon Park (molecular biologist at University of Surrey).
Most recently I won the British Women Artist's 2010 competition out of more than 200 other entries.
These remarkable opportunities and experiences have only come about through a sustained development of my practice and the seeds were sown on those important part-time courses in dance at Birkbeck.'