Fine art goldsmiths and csm talk ****** must read Watch
Sorry In advance that I suck at writing, but this is my full experience of these top two fine art universities.
I’ve always been told that I’m a gifted student, that I’m very original and raw, that I have the talent to become an actual artist from an A-level teacher perspective and a degree head of fine art perspective. I hate people that are ignorant and brag and I don’t mean too but receiving an A* in A-level fine art and currently getting praised for being the best student they’ve seen in a while from a fine art lecturer and foundation course teachers I don’t feel like university seems to be the right choice but not going university doesn’t feel right either.
Okay so I’m a student that left A-Levels straight to do a foundation course for art and design and I chose to do a foundation before studying fine art because the top schools make it necessary as an entry requirement to have a foundation diploma first. I’ve always had a target to go to the top schools for art so being in London for its central location for exposure and its worldly famous names is what I aimed for.
So I went to both open days for Goldsmiths and CSM recently and they both have different vibes, where Goldsmiths has a very strong independent aura but very isolating since being on the east side of London and just doesn't have a very centered feel in the art world and chance for exposure, unlike CSM. As well as the facilities are quite unsatisfying when given a tour around the workshop spaces. The actual university is also situated in the middle of a neighbourhood like street with a secondary school literally right next to the place with a shared public park. Goldsmith has a prestige name, but I think that's in the past the present Goldsmiths I visited a couple of weeks ago just doesn't do it for me. I'm not sincerely interested in ceramics much but I'm pretty sure a wooden shed that can only house like 4 students max at a time for clay and ceramics isn't a good facility and the rest seems to be quite makeshift except the fabrics and printing rooms. I was toured around the campus by a second-year student that wasn't even fluent and spoke in broken English too. Either so I don't know if there is more to these facilities that he didn't show me so my bad if there is more to these workshops’ spaces. The university also just has a very unorganised structure of the place and even has a depression centre/building like 10meters from the student studio spaces. Like it has a really depressing vibe there. Like I legit saw a girl cry on the phone in the middle of the road in front of the place not sure if its depression related but It still wasn’t a nice scene to look at. Overall the uni has an okay campus with slightly small spaces but great studio space where you’re mixed with random year students so talking with these older experienced artists is helpful. The desks are quite small, and you don’t actually have a full studio space it’s all shared in halves. I’m not sure either if it’s because I went on a gloomy day too, but it just has a distant depressing vibe.
CSM is equally quite bad to be honest. When you first walk into the building its massive and feels bigger than a train station but when you actually get toured around and walk through each room, studio and workshop its actually quite jammed packed and small. Everything is very compact where the workshops studios are actually very nice nothing to complain about, but the studios suck so much. It’s really badly designed for the students to freely work with no actual open space to stand back and look at work the studios are all connected and feels claustrophobic except the older year 2 and 3 studios where you have to pay more on top of the course fee to even work in the buildings studio. First year is free but second- and third-year studios have to be payed for. Living in London is expensive already even more so being an art student buying supplies and tools but having to pay more for studio space is quite crazy to me. CSM has a new modern feel to the place but actually has a more investment business type vibe where the selective university picks out the best students try them out and if they succeed, they gain fame and if they fail, they fail and forgotten. University should feel like an investment for the student not for the university and especially at an art school should have more an encouraged backed up feel for the student that is studying a subjective degree. The university also has a silver TEF rating which isn’t the greatest since I thought an art school would be exceptionally more outstanding with teacher and student relationships. Goldsmiths has an even worse rating at bronze.
I think all in all goldsmiths has more of an intention for the student’s future but just doesn’t have the ability to make them the best with what they have but CSM does but cares less and has eyes on money. 9k from each student a year is pretty hefty plus workshop membership stuff if they include it and 20k for the international students and even if its because of new building renovations money they shouldn’t have to make students pay for studios and they don’t need the extra money since the students buy supplies independently all themselves too.
Some of you people reading this might think I am just some ignorant kid that thinks he’s prestige or something and only has knowledge from first impression as of open days but I’m also including my friends that actually study at both universities for fine art.
Both universities suck for fine art and I think that a university like Newcastle or something is better for the student but lacks location and ‘connections’ with jobs and galleries. If you want to work through the pain or whatever and use CSM or Goldsmiths like a platform I think that’s great but paying thousands of pounds to have that platform and possibly mentally brake I’m not too sure myself. I hate the idea of having to go to an overhyped mediocre school just with some good connections but if I don’t go university I think as an artist that would be even harder to pursue my career as a freelance commission whatever artist. Art is all about connections. If you know people that have links to others higher up in galleries maybe or know famous people and opportunities to expose your work you’re set for life. In this modern day and age doing something completely original and mind-blowing in art is near impossible from just talent.
IT ALL LEADS DOWN TO CONNECTIONS
Sorry if I write weird I hate writing and never do this but nobody has done this or tried to show the true colours of art school so if you can’t understand my writing just message me and irl try explain it again clearly as I can and ask me more Qs that I forgot to write in.
If you’re looking for alternatives then Edinburgh or GSA might suit your ambitions - there’s definitely connections to be had in both.
Or in London City&Guilds facilities might suit you better.
Certainly agree it's all about the connections in the art game, same as music or politics and any plenty of other things. I think creative fulfilment is key so I would just go with wherever your gut tell you to go. Don't go to any places just because it has a reputation, go there if you think you'll thrive.