Help me complete my doctorate in Art practice.

by Sarah in London, England, United Kingdom

Help me complete my doctorate in Art practice.
Not quite
Unfortunately this project was not successful.

To raise some of the fees to enable me to complete a Doctorate in Fine Art practice, to help develop my work and work with others.

by Sarah in London, England, United Kingdom

I worked using art in community settings for a long period of time. This included one to one and group work with people living with a learning disability; long term unemployed people; people living with mental health concerns. I devised cross generational projects for single parents and their children to make art with residents in older peoples residential homes, to forge connections and share enjoyment. I devised a project to bring the 40 separate mother tongue languages of the children at a local school in to a predominantly white middle class festival in the area. I also wrote a blog about grief which I shared for others to access to help them in their grief journey. 100 posts were accessed 25000 times. I set up a studio space for artists. I wrote a short film ‘Shaded from the Sun’ which was commissioned for TV, which I directed and which was broadcast in 2001. During this time I raised two daughters on my own and from 2000 cared for my mother who was diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 52. When she went in to remission, I applied for and was accepted on to a Doctorate in fine Art. I started the programme in 2003. But before the first term was completed, my mother was ill again, and I left the programme to support her. I did this until 2010, when she sadly lost her ferocious battle to live. In the interim, I started a new relationship and had unexpected but delightful twins in 2004. My relationship had broken down by the time they were three and I found myself looking after two babies, working full time as a regulator of health and social care and looking after my mum. In 2010, driven by a grief stricken insanity I started to write and make art constantly. I applied for an MA in Fine Art and was amazed to be accepted as such a long time has passed since I was working with art and the community. I started this in 2011. At the end of the first year the programme leader for the Doctorate asked if I would like to transfer programmes as I had previously been accepted and my work was mature enough. I was delighted. I started the programme in 2012. However, in 2015 one of my twins became very unwell. He spent 6 separate periods in bed unable to get up and missed a lot of school. He was unable to do anything for himself and I was emotionally distressed and overwhelmed. I decided I needed to take time out from my study, as I had no space to think about anything except trying to get a diagnosis for my child and keeping my job to support us all. In 2016/7 his illness became worse and he was asleep in bed for four or five months, unable to walk unaided, being woken to be fed. I was unable to return to my studies. Eventually after many tests and explorations and investigations he was diagnosed with ME and registered as disabled. Slowly with constant support he improved and returned to school on a very part time basis. He had been accepted at the local grammar school as he really wanted to go there, but as his illness worsened had to leave. In 2018, he had a period of a few months where he appeared to be ‘better’. He was attending school for four hours a day, going to the park with his friends sometimes and occasionally chasing pokemon. I started to relax. Felt like I might get some of my life back as he was getting some of his. I spoke with the programme leader for the Doctorate again. I had been out for three years and so withdrawn. Because of the exceptional circumstances they found a way for me to return to complete the programme in a three year period. For me, this was dependent on funding and my son being well. All seemed to be going fine. I enrolled and paid part of the fees on my credit card. I joined the programme and started to re-engage with my research, when my son suddenly relapsed and my student finance application was refused because I had started the programme previously. Overwhelmed with sadness at my sons relapse I immediately withdrew knowing I would not have the time or emotional resource to engage with anything other than caring and working. Now, six months later, he is improved and older, less like a child, more able to do things for himself. His twin also is older and can support a bit more. And I really want to finally complete my doctorate. I am in discussion again with the programme leader, and it looks promising, but now I know there is no funding for me, as I have started the programme three times. I cannot afford to pay the rest of my fees which are about 7000 pounds. I have thought of every way to try and access the funds to finish the programme, but keep hitting walls. This is an unusual approach for me to take. Asking for crowd funding. But it feels like my last hope. I have asked for half the fees as all of them felt like too much and I believe I can raise the rest by selling things on eBay and using credit. The Doctorate will serve me, mostly, and will help me to  complete something I have been so thwarted in achieving. But it is concerned with art and class and public and private spaces and I hope the work I make and theory that develops will be of some benefit to someone, somewhere at some time. Thank you for reading a long piece of writing. Your time and any donation you wish to make are very much appreciated. Thank you ⭐️

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