Could you create award-winning art?

Bram Thomas Arnold recently won the Audience Choice Award for his exhibition, How to Walk (Parts 1-9). His work was chosen by visitors to a showcase of contemporary art hosted at Peninsula Arts, Plymouth's centre for contemporary art and culture, right on campus.

How to Walk is a combination of text and drawing narrating a journey Bram undertook from London to Switzerland. To complete the project, much of his time was spent in isolation, which has made this recognition all the more appreciated. It was “A great feeling,” he says. “We’re all just trying to reach other people somehow, aren’t we?”

When asked about the journey, Bram regales a story of a tent in the blowing wind, the constant trek towards the horizon and the rhythm this generates. “You realise the horizon is in fact a myth, a creation of the eye in the mind of the viewer. Perhaps through this artwork, decisions are jogged, they can be seen for what they are, an engagement between yourself and something other.”

He describes being an artist as opting to stand on the sidelines of life, to, “watch it go by around you, taking decisions based on your experiences and findings.” However, this doesn't mean he just sits around doing nothing. “Undertake manual tasks often,” he advises. “Fix bikes, grow food, bake bread, repair clothes – do actual things in the real world. Then do whatever you fancy.”

As far as the key to creating award-winning art? Bram has no single formula. “Previous projects re-emerge in the same way sea birds pop back up in a completely different location to the one they disappeared from,” he explains. “So much happens under the surface. Some people would call it procrastination, but it’s a continuation of a line. There can be no conclusions, each installation or exhibition is a snapshot in time.”

There you have it – now you can get cracking on your masterpiece, or just pop into Peninsula Arts and check out the latest exhibition.

Student Life magazine: Spring 2016 issue 2