The Turner Prize nominated painter who studied Fine Art at the south London university in the 1980s is giving the money to help art students from poorer backgrounds. Hume, 53, who lives and works in London and Accord, New York, said his own experiences as student had spurred him to support the scholarships. He said: “I decided to help because it’s incredibly difficult for young artists. I wanted to help lower the incredible burden on families to help in the current climate.”
Referring to his own time as a young artist, when he emerged as a leading member of of the “YBA” scene alongside fellow Goldsmiths graduates Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas, he said: “I had a grant and still had to work it was really difficult even then.
“I received £1,000 in my final year from the Haberdashers’ Company and it made a huge difference to me. I wanted to be able to repeat that and help people who may be in a similar situation to me.” He added: “The most important thing this money will bring these students is time. If you haven’t got any money then you have to spend time earning money. Art takes so much time, this will give them a bit more time to spend working, doing what they’re supposed to be doing, making mistakes and learning.” Of his time at Goldsmiths, Gary said: “I loved it. It was where I was given the opportunity to grow in confidence as an artist and a person and have a chance to thrive rather than be regarded as a bit of a waste.”
Starting from this year, two first-year students will receive funding worth £1,377 a term. The students will receive the same backing every term throughout their three-year course. In total the scholarships will support six students over three degree cycles of the BA (Hons) Fine Art degree programme.
The first students chosen as recipients of the scholarships are Sebastian Sochan from Hayes in Middlesex and Tayaba Arain from Hounslow, west London.The scholarships will run for three complete degree cycles, meaning that the amount awarded will total just under £75,000 including Gift Aid. Students qualifying for the scholarships must meet the following criteria: demonstrate potential as an artist; have a household income of £25,000 or less as assessed by Student Finance England; and not be in receipt of any other Goldsmiths Scholarships or Fee Waivers.
Richard Noble, Head of the Department of Art which is consistently ranked among the top 10 in the world, said: “It’s a great opportunity for them. “The money will make a real difference to the students both in terms of the materials they can afford for their work and the wider impact – such as paying for accommodation and travel.” Goldsmiths has a strong track record in widening participation in art, including the Fine Art Summer school which draws students aged 16-25 from across the capital’s sixth form and further education colleges.
The Hume scholarship announcement is the second time this year that Goldsmiths art graduates have given to their former university. In February high-profile artists donated work to sell at auction to help raise funds for a new public art gallery being built at Goldsmiths’ New Cross campus.
The sale of alumni works at Christie’s in February raised £1.4m with support from artists including Hirst, Lucas and Antony Gormley. The Gallery at Goldsmiths project is being overseen by architecture collective Assemble – one of three nominees for this year’s Turner Prize with links to Goldsmiths.
The remaining two are lecturer in Fine Art Bonnie Camplin and Reader in Fine Art Janice Kerbel, who both teach on the BA Fine Art programme. The Turner Prize is awarded at a ceremony in Glasgow on 7 December 2015. Goldsmiths has long had a close relationship with the Turner Prize. Seven former students have won the competition while graduates from the university make up a quarter of those shortlisted during the award’s history.
Founded in 1891, Goldsmiths, University of London is an institution with a rich academic history, known for its creative approach. Its 9,000 students are based on campus in the heart of south east London’s New Cross community, studying undergraduate, postgraduate, teacher training and return-to-study courses in the arts and humanities, social sciences, cultural studies, computing, and entrepreneurial business and management. They have had seven winners of the Turner Prize – and a quarter of those shortlisted for the award since it began – have been former Goldsmiths students, while others have gone on to receive Oscars, Mercury Music prizes, Ivor Novellos and BAFTAS.