Curiosity Ignites

True to NSCAD’s interdisciplinary nature, 3rd year painting student Alex Sutcliffe finds his paintings informed by the other disciplines he’s added to his studies. In art history he finds fertile ground for subject matter, referencing famous works by Manet and Fragonard, and in sculpture he finds a greater understanding of depth and space in his canvases. “I find painters and sculptors get along,” says Sutcliffe, speaking about his studio instructor Thierry Delva. “When I was choosing my instructor there weren’t any painters available, so I felt for me that the best professor would be a sculptor.”

Alex Sutcliffe is the recipient of the Robert Pope Foundation Painting Scholarship.

But while art history and sculpture are certainly part of his practice, his main area of focus is still painting, and says that being awarded a scholarship has helped him be more adventurous with materials. Receiving a scholarship allows you to be freer with the materials you experiment with, he says. “I can buy a brush that helps me blend paint in a certain way that opens up doors to a whole new conversation with painting. It allows me to buy colours that I can test out.. it also allows me to go large scale if I need to, which can be very important. It helps a lot.” Art supplies are always an expensive part of attending art school, but if a student is interested in working with better quality materials this can be even more difficult. Sutcliffe points to a tiny tube of paint on his desk. “This costs like $40!” he says.

Sutcliffe’s studio space is filled with larger canvases; almost a full wall around the corner from his studio is taken up by a large, blurred figure painting. He credits NSCAD’s 24 hour studio access with their completion. “I’ve had some nights where I’ve worked through the entire night on one painting, and I would not have gotten my painting done if I didn’t have access. It makes the studio really feel like your studio space, because if you can just come here at any time it really feels like it’s your spot.”

In this season of giving, we hope you will consider renewing your support for NSCAD by making a gift of any amount. All contributions to the NSCAD Annual Fund directly benefit our young artists, primarily in the form of scholarships and bursaries.

Many thanks and happy holidays from all of us at NSCAD!