For Ella Ranfft, a final year Fine Arts student, being an artist is in her blood. “I have always loved the tactility and colours of paint, both looking and using. There is just something about the act of mixing and then marking a surface that I love. Although I could be whatever I wanted, having a father and almost everyone on his side of our family being artists, there has always been an influence to study art. I saw art everywhere, and I saw my family painting every year I visited. I also did life drawing classes when I was younger, so I saw and got used to nudity pre-university classes, and that’s been good for my practice now.”
After extensive research weighing up pros and cons of all art and design schools, Ella chose Whitecliffe as she thought it would help her most on her journey. “Whitecliffe offered an environment that would nurture my practice with regular meetings and critiques of my work and support from lecturers in all of my endeavours. Because Whitecliffe was a small place when I entered, I knew there would be more one-on-one time with lecturers, which was very similar to what I experienced in high school.”
Commenting on her study experience Ella says Whitecliffe provided an essential foundation for her work “In Year One, the techniques I learned in life drawing, created the base for what my practice is now. What I enjoy most about Whitecliffe is an atmosphere where I feel I am constantly supported in whatever I do, and I will miss that when I graduate into the real world.”
Her advice to anyone thinking of studying at Whitecliffe is “work hard for what you want, take every opportunity to showcase your work, and pay attention in Entrepreneurship classes when learning to write proposals and budgets. Volunteer for everything, intern everywhere, send out CV’s to everyone, sign up for email subscriptions from all the galleries, go to all the exhibitions you can. Do it all and when you graduate you’ll already be known in the community.”
Looking to the future, Ella hopes to share her artistic ideas and challenge thinking. “It has always been a dream to be in an exhibition alongside Jenny Saville and other female painters engaging with feminist ideas (that’s more of a twenty-year plan though). I want to be in lots of exhibitions, not just to sell my work, but to share my ideas with the public, and maybe change the way some men see women, even subtly.” She’s also considering returning to Whitecliffe to do the Master of Fine Arts programme.
To see more of Ella's work, visit her website.