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.”