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Leeds Beckett has helped establish a future I am excited by

Student spotlight |Caitlin Gormons

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Caitlin Gormons at at table in blue sweater

Caitlin Gorman, a recent graduate from BA (Hons) Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett University, is about to begin her studies on the Performance MA. Caitlin is a performance artist based in Leeds and has an interest in using performance to raise questions surrounding ownership over public spaces, as well as using it to explore the ordinary seen in everyday life.

Tell us a bit about yourself and what drew you to Performing Arts? 

I have spent the last three years on an exploration journey. My undergraduate degree has allowed me to understand more about what my working practice is as an artist, as well as establishing skills that enabled my practice to develop as I begin my career. 

Performing arts has always been a huge part of my life. Having spent time in theatre schools from a young age, the arts enabled free time to be spent creatively. However, Leeds Beckett has authorised a new way of thinking about performing arts. Whilst traditional theatre was the only experience I had previously, the ability to build upon critical theory and apply it to a creative practice has enabled past limitations to be lifted. Performing arts is now, not only continuing as constant but allows for new and innovative ways to explore and interact with everything that I encounter. 

What made you choose Leeds Beckett? 

Having done a BTEC in Health and Social care, I was worried about the prospect of not having the relevant qualifications to study the subject I desired at degree level. However, Leeds Beckett was able to work with me as an individual to find a course that best suited me. 

After researching the modules that would be studied across all three years and identifying the diverse range of skills, the experts who would be teaching and collaborating with us, as well as the opportunities that would come with living and studying in the city of Leeds relevant to our practices, it was clear that Leeds Beckett was the right university for me. 

It was also really exciting to have the prospect of a new building for Leeds School of the Arts as being something to look forward to as part of the environment I would be learning and creating in down the line. 

What has been your favourite thing about your time studying at Leeds Beckett? 

Although it can be said that all experiences and opportunities offered as part of studying at Leeds Beckett have been crucial to helping me develop as an artist over the past three years, it has been the development in the relationships formed with the people around me that has been my favourite thing.

Whilst all projects – from being part of Light Night 2018 in my first two weeks of studying at Leeds Beckett, to having the opportunity to undertake a Practice Research project for my dissertation and being a part of an online international festival as well as being immersed and a part of a final year festival with a piece of work I had created and was truly proud of. 

It is the relationships formed with my peers and lecturers that enabled each one of these experiences to be what they were. I look beyond my MA and into the future as a Leeds Beckett Alumni.

What advice would you give someone thinking about studying performing arts? 

My advice to anyone thinking about studying at Performing Arts at Leeds Beckett would be to do it! Soak up as much of university life as possible, it will be a story to tell one day and maybe even end up the story for a performance one day! 

The academic qualification you achieve at the end of your three years will merely be a bi-product of three years at Leeds Beckett. The relationships you build with your cohort, as well as your lectures, will last beyond the time after you have graduated. Make sure to put time into developing those. They are what is important.  

What will your story be?

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