Similarly to the AddVantage modules at Coventry University, Academie Minerva requires your extra credits from Capita Selecta and Off-Course modules in order to pass the year. My Off-Course was The Power of The Inbetween ran by Andrea Stultiens, a practising photographer and researcher.
"Initially trained as a photographer and researcher (BFA, MFA, MA) at several universities in the Netherlands, I am currently finalising a practice based doctoral thesis and run a hybrid artistic practice in which I continuously switch roles; from photographer to researcher, from curator to teacher.
Most of the photographs I make and do things with come from – and show fragments of pasts on – the African continent in general and east African country Uganda in particular. As part of my practice I digitise, share and activate photo collections that were previously not accessible on different platforms. They find their way onto the archival platform www.HIPUganda.org, in exhibitions and in publications.
The exhibitions and publications are both presentations of research results and experiments leading to next stages of the things I do. They try to contribute to a growing understanding of histories told in various contexts and to diverse audiences."
- Andrea Stultiens
Being taught and guided by practising artists and photographers such as Andrea has allowed me to expand my opportunities concerning my work. Being offered the opinion of, and assistance from such teachers is a real eye-opener, and encourages me to consider new and professional perspectives of my work.
The Power of The Inbetween
The Power of The Inbetween was a purposefully open title for our Off-course, and encouraged students to really consider their own 'inbetweeness' as internationals living in The Netherlands. My work centred around my displacement in the city following personal events surrounding loss, that had an impact on my mental health. Home, rest and self were three huge comforts during this time, and so I centred my thoughts of 'inbetweeness' around them, concentrating on how they would allow for self-reflection and eventually self-acceptance. I documented the space I called home, which allowed for rest and self-isolation using abstract photographic methods. The images evoke peacefulness and tranquility and speak of the beauty that lies within the journey to self-acceptance.
At the end of the block, the Off-Courses came to a close and students were able to showcase their work in the Praediniussingel building. All Off-Course groups together planned and organised their exhibition space before showcasing the works at the end of the week. The constant opportunity to consider curation and presentation methods at Minerva, as well as showcasing our work to new audiences has proven to be pressurising, but extremely rewarding in relation to finalising my work and considering its audience. Teamwork, as well as organisation and planning are all fantastic skills that I will have enhanced whilst studying at Academy Minerva, and can be used to improve my performance as I return to Coventry University.