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OCA Fine Art Student Successes

OCA and the Fine Art Department are proud to share some recent successes of their Fine Art students.


Paola Tine-Smiech has been awarded the Jon Rieger Award from the International Visual Sociology Association for 'Exceptional Graduate Student Work in Visual Sociology'. This was awarded for her artbook project 'She Fell and Became a Horse: An Experiment in Ethnofiction', which she developed during her studies on the MA Fine Art course at OCA. This work is an experiment in interpretative ethnography through ethnofictional means of representation. Through painting, drawing, and text, and with the accompaniment of local music, it explores the existential journey of three Nepali women as they fight against domestic hierarchies and gendered politics in the context of their daily lives.


Paola is a painter and anthropologist with expertise in visual research methods, medical anthropology, social change and domestic relations. As an artist and researcher, Paola aims to translate social interactions, constructions and paradoxes within a decoding and encoding visual language. She sees the canvas as an ‘heterotopia’, using a term by Foucault, another world within this world, mirroring and yet upsetting what is outside; a space of experimentation in which the constructed mechanisms of social life are revealed.


Paola now works as a lecturer teaching visual and medical anthropology at Victoria University in Wellington, NZ, alongside her affiliation as an Honorary Fellow at the University of Adelaide, where she recently completed her PhD. You can see examples of Paola’s work below, and on her website here.


Many congratulations to Paola on her success and recent achievements.

Paola Tine-Smiech, Blessing, mixed media on canvas, 40.5 x30 cm, 2022.

BA (Hons) Fine Art student Di Goring has been selected for the 2023 Trinity Buoy Wharf Prize, the leading open award for contemporary drawing in the UK which started in 1991. The annual exhibition, which is open to artists from the UK and internationally, attracts several thousand entries and is a significant marker in the contemporary drawing field.


Di’s work was one in a set of three charcoal drawings of allotment scenes. Her current practice is centred around the Transition town Wellington, part of the international Transition Network that aims to increase carbon neutral, sustainable and biodiverse working through local volunteers. An example of their work involves planting fruit trees on local land whereby anyone in the community can pick the fruits for free. The connection that Di felt to the Transition town movement inspired her to create drawings based on Wellington’s foraging map, subsequently holding an exhibition, with sales and donations being given to Wellington Transition town and the Wellington Hospital League of Friends. I sold eight paintings and had five commissions. People were so kind and complimentary about the work too. Di had also attended a Fine Art group work session dedicated to applying to open calls which, combined with her exhibition success led her to respond to the Open Call for the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize. Di commented “I packed up my three drawings and dropped them at the collection point in Bristol. When the day came and the selection list was out, I was speechless and quite emotional. The list was in alphabetical order and I just couldn't believe I was seeing my name and my work in the list.” Di has worked closely with her tutor Cheryl Huntbach during this busy period, she comments Di has worked particularly hard at her drawing practice , in terms of engaging critically with research, materials and making. There is a sense that Di is embedding deeply held values for community, care and compassion, with subtle humour.”


Many congratulations to Di on this fantastic achievement. Her work will be exhibited in the Trinity Buoy Wharf Drawing Prize touring exhibition, which opens at Trinity Buoy Wharf, London on 29th September 2023 and runs until 15th October 2023, touring thereafter to further exhibition venues.

Di Goring, Allotment 3 - Drum-kit, charcoal on paper, 59.4 x 42.0 cm, 2022


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Emma Drye
Emma Drye
Aug 18, 2023

well done all!

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