Peter Brownsell

“I mean I was delighted when I found it, because it was perfect for what I wanted, which was practical training from practising artists.”

Student Story


I used to be an engineer but I have done lots of varied work. I’m used to changing careers, but I suddenly had a revelation that I wanted to be an artist. I did a Foundation course at my local tech, and that was great, they were keen to get us all into the big universities. But for me that wasn’t quite right, what I needed was the skills to become an artist. And that was available at the Academy.  I was delighted when I found it, because it was perfect for what I wanted which was practical training from practising artists.

At the Academy you’re not left alone in your studio, you have guided classes. I really like the structure of the programme. It’s structured like a degree but the amount of tuition you get is quite extensive. Everybody does drawing classes and then you have up to two skills classes on top of that every week, and your project classes as well. I’ve learnt a lot. It’s gaining the understanding of how to deal with the practical problems that you come across as an artist.

The Academy encourages you in the way that you want to go. It’s all about you as an artist. What do you want! Picking courses that you want to do, that can build towards what you want to specialize in when you finish. I quickly realized that it was going to be far too much work to turn myself into a painter. I seem to have a natural way of seeing things in three dimensions, which probably comes from my background as an engineer. Sculpture is the medium for me!

It’s been a really brilliant experience. The spectrum of people here is really broad. There are young people and older people here. There is also the fantastic Foundation course, which always generates incredibly interesting work. The mix here is fantastic, it’s like a microcosm of London society.