School of Music & Fine Art student, Nadia Perrotta (MA Fine Art), has been awarded the University of Kent prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Arts and Culture Award, which recognises a student’s contribution in the area of fine art or music, photography or writing, drama, dance or design. The student is expected to develop their own cultural learning and that of the student population or members of the local community.
Nadia’s innovative award winning Wetlands project uses art to encourage interaction between Kent’s students and the Medway community; the project has previously received a grant of £5,000 from the University of Kent Student Projects Grant Scheme for the Wetlands Hub, to build an archive of documentation and film works about the local maritime history and the wetland landscape, to include film screenings, art workshop and installations inspired and shaped by the Medway expanse.
“Wetlands is an art project initiated in 2015 inspired by the powerful metaphor of a possible memory retained and preserved by the waters. The aim of the project is for University of Kent students and alumni to involve and interact with local communities living in proximity of waters, recreating a dialogue between them, their maritime history and the wetland landscape.
Wetlands has been a real journey for me. I started with the hope to be able to create a link between the local community and the students of SMFA, to build an understanding of the environment outside the “bubble” of the university and for the public to get to know the potential of our school and the talents of the students of SMFA. I acknowledge that this was an ambitious aim. However, I was able to create a sustainable network of contacts with local authorities and art organisations who opened their doors to collaborations with SMFA students. I am proud this pioneering project has been inspirational for the art practice of most of the students involved – and a demonstration of how much it is possible to achieve when students are entrusted with freedom of expression outside the assessed studio work and supported by the University. I am very happy to be able to leave a legacy with Wetlands Hub, offering students and alumni a platform for free expression and at the same time celebrating their talents with the creation of the new Wetlands video hub archive.”