Jessica Longmore, Fine Art lecturer, shares her experiences.
I initially trained as a Textile Designer, graduating from Birmingham City University in 2002. I spent the years following my degree working as a costume maker and in various other roles in the fashion and textiles industries. However, in 2003 I went to work for an artist in Japan and this experience changed the course of my career by guiding me towards sculpture.
I have worked as an artist since my return from Japan and in 2007 I completed my MA in Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. My art practice has allowed me to exhibit across the world, in countries such as USA, France, Finland, The Netherlands and China – as well as throughout the UK. My work combines sculpture, installation, performance and photography, and centres on themes such as thresholds, boundaries and domains. I am particularly interested in who owns particular spaces and the status of the interloper.
In addition to my art practice I am also on the Board of Trustees at Z-Arts, a theatre and arts centre in the Hulme area of Manchester. Z-arts is dedicated to providing world class arts experiences for children and families in the North West of England. Having two young children myself, I am passionate about how the arts can transform the lives of young people and expand expectations.
One of my roles on this board is to ensure the organisation’s leadership, staff and programming reflect the diversity of its audience and to ensure the provision is welcoming and accessible to all.
As a lecturer I have taught at various institutions across the UK, but also at the Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts, China and Clermont-Ferrand School of Fine Arts, France. I joined Staffordshire University in 2012 and teach on BA Fine Art and I am now Course Leader for Art & Design Foundation. The thing I love most about teaching is opening up new possibilities in art and design to students and guiding them onto the right pathway for them.