On the road to University of Brighton MA Fine Art

by Aaron James Murphy in Hastings, England, United Kingdom

On the road to University of Brighton MA Fine Art
We did it
On 20th July 2019 we successfully raised £10 with 1 supporters in 28 days

The journey has only just begun and the fundraising begins to take on the world of Fine Art and inspire future generations of artists.

by Aaron James Murphy in Hastings, England, United Kingdom

A bit about me...

Hello! My name is Aaron James Murphy and on the 31st of July 2019 I will graduate from the University of Brighton with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art Practices. My journey into education was not the conventional route. I left school when I was 16 with no formal qualifications, but a hungry entrepreneurial spirit. By the time I was 18 I had two successful shops specialising in vintage fashion and interior design. But then life changed in 2007/8 as the world entered into an economic downturn and a prolonged recession I had to re access my career ambitions and ultimately a new direction.  

From a young age I was always a creative individual. If I was not making buildings out of Lego, which had to remain on the mantelpiece for exactly 2 weeks, I would be drawing or painting. As a teenager I always had an eccentric flare for fashion, often adjusting or making my own clothes. Being slightly 'unique' was always important as was being able to develop and change as a person. That's why I believe after closing the last shop in 2013 I saw my new direction as an exciting challenge and enrolled on an Access to Higher Education course in 2014. After successfully completing the course I went off to University to study the History of Art & Design, but after the first year I knew the course was not right for me and change again would happen...

The perfect degree for me...

In 2016 I changed my course and started Fine Art Practice at the University of Brighton based in my hometown of Hastings. It was without doubt the best decision I had made and proved that change at any point in life is always a good thing.

My degree has been an amazing life changing experience. I have been on a journey which has challenged me, tested my abilities, resolve, commitment and nearly bought me to breaking point, BUT I would not have changed a single minute and would repeat it all over again in a heartbeat!

The degree has enable me to develop as a person. I have been able to take on exciting opportunities as society president, student ambassador and peer mentor for Further Education Students. 

However, the most important development has been in my practice as an artist, which three years ago I would not have envisaged. 

Artists Statement:

Aaron James Murphy is an interdisciplinary artist whose practice spans writing, photography, sculpture and painting. A diversified practice is consolidated by ongoing research exploring the historical and contemporary language of AIDS/HIV discourse.

Conservative social-political doctrine acts as a point of departure, engaging with issues related to stigma and pressures within society, often autobiographical and biographical.

AIDS/HIV discourse has fuelled Aaron James Murphy’s interest in the overlap between private and public experiences, candidly documenting his own diagnosis. An aesthetic vocabulary is evocative of both Minimalism and Conceptual art, his use of everyday materials are used to address themes such as interaction, relationships, loss, and community.    

And that is why the journey has only just begun

I believe passionately art can be used as a platform to bring change within society. Having been accepted on the MA Fine Art course at the University of Brighton I would like the opportunity  to further develop my practice with the exciting prospect of working with Brighton Medical School around the subjects of mental health and stigma.    

The perfect MA for me...

University of Brighton MA Fine Art (full time)


An intro to the course:

Founded on a strong dynamic between students and staff, the Fine Art MA is for disciplined artists who want to develop their work both through personal tutorials and interaction within an informed, ambitious peer group.

The course is taught by a group of experienced and well-connected artists and curators. You follow a highly personalised programme of study and contribute to the overall group experience in a weekly series of lectures, seminars and crits.

You will have the opportunity to exhibit your work and curate group exhibitions, while also completing an extended essay and slide presentation for your assessment and as the basis of your future professional practice.

The exciting bits...

The course is split into two main sections. Both involve elements of theory and practice – together with portfolio and visual documentation preparation – and culminate in assessed exhibitions.

Section 1

The first section concentrates on the identification and development of your chosen mode of practice, with a degree of re-evaluation and experimentation being the norm.

You will display and discuss your work within a group to form a social and professional bond with your fellow students. You will also attend lectures and seminars given by the regular staff team and visiting guest speakers.

Section 2

The second section prepares you for the final assessment exhibition. This involves regular crits and group meetings. You will present a seminar linked to your work, develop your professional practice and networking skills, and receive tutorials on the extended essay that you write during the summer vacation.

There is also the option to take an extra module - Fine Art Mentoring allowing me to further develop mentoring skills. 

Why I need your support...

As I'm sure you are aware being a student is an expensive business. The current tuition fees and AVERAGE living costs are listed below. I have also included an estimate for material costs. Every art students nightmare!  

Full time MA Fine Art tuition fees: £7,272

Average living costs (rent, utilities, food, travel): £11,500

Estimated material costs: £1500-2500 

That is an eye watering £20,772! But fear not, I'm determined to achieve my goal and with your help and support I know I can make my dream of an MA happen. I'm pleased to report I have received a small bursary from the university toward my fees and I'm currently working two part-time jobs, which I will continue with throughout my MA.

And something just for you!  

No amount of money is too small and I am hugely grateful for any support you feel you can give. 

As one famous supermarket states: Every Little Helps! 

A list of rewards are as follows:

  • £10      Signed Postcard 
  • £50      Signed Limited Edition Photograph 
  • £250    Original Artwork 
  • £500    Original Artwork and lunch with me! 

Please email for further details regarding rewards and arrangements - aaronmurphywork@gmail.com Lunches are always notoriously outrageous!  

If you could share, promote, shout, sing or dance about my fundraising campaign i would be forever grateful 

Mostly, I hope that one day I'll be working to inspire the next generation of artists to challenge the new issues and stigmas facing society. Art is a powerful platform to promote change and I hope I'm and the forefront. 

Thank you so much for reading my story and I hope you choose to help me achieve my MA ambitions.

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