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Student who translates epileptic visions into art is awarded UCA scholarship

An artist who documents the places she sees when experiencing epileptic fits has been awarded the Nick Jack Scholarship to study an MA in Fine Art at our Canterbury campus.

Rebeka-Louise Lee, who recently completed an undergraduate Fine Art degree, was first diagnosed with epilepsy as a small child. After undergoing a sustained period without seizures, her attacks returned four years ago, and Rebeka-Louise turned to her creative practice to make sense of the visions she experiences during each episode.

“As an epilepsy sufferer I have often found myself lost or confused trying to decipher what I have seen in a seizure and what I have seen in real life,” Rebeka-Louise says.

“I started making epilepsy-based art towards the end of my BA. I began by leaving a notepad beside my bed and jotting down anything I could remember from my seizures.

“I was always interested in drawing but I was introduced to etching during my degree and started transforming my small detailed drawings into large scale etchings, which normally depicted scenes from my seizures and all the wondrous characters I have met through my subconscious.”

During her undergraduate degree, Rebeka-Louise exhibited her large prints and went on to win the Canterbury Arts Society prize, and gave a talk about her work to the organisation.

“I applied for an MA in the hope of bettering myself and exploring my new found love of etching. I want to see where this method leads me and find out how far I can go. It’s an opportunity for me to experiment with bigger etches and better prints.

“After University I really aspire to be an exhibiting artist, communicating my experiences with epilepsy and how it has affected my life as an artist. I want the audience to come right up close to my prints and really immerse themselves in the things that I see in my seizures.”

The Nick Jack Scholarship is an annual £5,000 scholarship for MA Fine Art students at UCA Canterbury, set up in memory of former student Nick Jack.

Rebeka-Louise adds: “I am so grateful and honoured to be receiving the Nick Jack Scholarship. Due to the size of my pieces, the etching plates and materials do tend to cost a lot of money and this is where the scholarship will really benefit me. It is going to help me explore my creativity and will hopefully support me as I start exhibiting my work more widely.”

Rebeka-Louise Lee