In:Site 18 Artist Experience

Sophie McKinney shares her experience of In:Site

Sophie participated at In:Site 2018, for the festival she invited the public to sculpt with clay, encouraging them to produce the ceremonial objects used within the Cathedral. Below she shares her thoughts and experiences of the festival and what she has been up to since.

In:Site festival was a great starting point after graduation. When leaving the University bubble, I suddenly realised how little interaction I’d had with people outside of my university peers. Many opportunities for graduates I came across were for exhibiting, which I found lacking in face to face interaction with the public and inaccessible due to their high commission rates.

I had volunteered as an artist support whilst I was studying. Talking to other makers and hearing about their experiences of university and what had made them apply inspired me. The artists taking part were doing really good work and were very friendly and supportive. It was just fun!

Being involved in In:Site festival immediately after I graduated helped build my confidence to continue with my creative practice after Uni and made me realise that I wanted public interaction as an integral part of that. Engaging the public in making allowed for a natural starting point of conversation, allowing me to connect with people I wouldn’t normally meet through making with them.

The experience of preparing for and running my own workshop with Craftspace’s support has given me the confidence and knowledge to continue to produce my own workshops with the public. Since In:Site festival I have become a member of Modern Clay; an artist led studio co-op in Digbeth, Birmingham. I have also been producing my own work that has been exhibited at various events including Lichfield Festival and Ceramics in Charnwood. Making new professional contacts and networks during the project has also helped me to get paid work which helps support my creative practice.

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