Kerri Pratt, Fine Art, 2011

Kerri graduated with a First Class BA (Hons) Fine Art degree in 2011.

Winning the Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award

Kerri has been announced as the winner of the sixth Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award for 2014/15. She is taking a 1 year sabbatical from her job at Derby College and will be based full time at the University's Banks Mill site in Derby throughout her nine month residency.

Kerri said: "I am absolutely thrilled to win this prestigious award and look forward to developing work based on my home county of Derbyshire."

We asked Kerri:

What were the main reasons you took the Fine Art course? 

The course gave me the opportunity to develop my practice and prepare proposals, work to deadlines, and present my work in a professional manner. All these skills are highly relevant to real world opportunities in fine art practice. The Degree Show showcases students final year work and can provide other opportunities post-graduation. In my case, this led to my work being displayed at three exhibitions.

Why did you choose to study the course at the University of Derby?

As a mature student I was also looking for a university where I wouldn't feel ancient, and there appeared to be a diverse age range already at Derby when I came along to the open day.

I have a family which meant it was important for me to study locally. I was able to fit my study in with other commitments of work and family life without the disruption of having to commute or move away from home.

How would you sum up your experience as a student at Derby?

I had a life changing experience at Derby, it really was a journey of self discovery for me. I came out of the experience with more confidence and self belief, both as an artist and also as an individual. I am a true believer in the idea that if you work hard enough, and want something enough, then anything is possible.

What was the best part of studying at Derby for you?

It gave me the opportunity to develop in a very supportive environment, both in terms of peers and academic staff. I didn't join university to make new friends, but I did and as an artist, it's very constructive to be around like-minded people. We were encouraged to discuss, debate, make our own decisions, and become independent thinkers.

Kerri Pratt artwork 'Reconstruct IV' “I am absolutely thrilled to be the sixth winner of the prestigious Jonathan Vickers Fine Art Award and look forward to my time developing work derived from my home county of Derbyshire."