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GemmaKauffman1-300x202Gemma Kauffman graduated from the MA Creative and Media Education course in 2011, and now she works freelance, specialising in social engagement through the arts as well as preparing for her new exhibition, And The Dark And The Dark, which is opening in London in November. Below, Gemma talks about how the MA helped her move into this new career and a bit more about her current projects.

I completed the MA Creative and Media Education at Bournemouth University in 2011. It was an important turning point in my career.  Prior to the MA I was the Head of Art in a Pupil Referral Unit for excluded secondary school students with behavioral needs.  The students I worked with were fiercely creative, independent, innovative and intelligent young people. I enjoyed several years teaching yet I gradually became increasingly frustrated by the limitations of the curriculum and education infrastructure. I instinctively felt that a ‘new lens’ was required in order to properly see the complex barriers that these young people faced and to create an alternative context for the challenging behavior. The MA course was dizzyingly slick and fast paced and stretched me to my limits but after the 18 months duration of the course I was a different person. I started to see myself as a leader and innovator within my field.

I now enjoy an exciting freelance career, specializing in engagement through the arts. I have extensive experience supporting the creative voice of young people, especially those facing challenging life circumstances. As the resident artist on the acclaimed arts project Miss Represented, based at Brighton Dome, I developed a unique approach to facilitating self-development through creative expression.  I have since assisted the development of several social engagement projects both as a consultant and practitioner. I am currently in the process of setting up a new creative space for young women to explore identity, confidence and self-expression, based in East London. I credit the experience of the MA at Bournemouth University as a turning point in my career that has helped open doors for me.

You can find out more about Gemma’s upcoming exhibition by visiting her blog.

You can also see more of her work on her website.

And The Dark And The Dark is opening at the Whitechapel Gallery in November.

Originally published on Alumni news.