Molly Cawthorn

Molly graduated from Aberystwyth in 2020 with a Masters in Fine Art, and is self-employed as an artist and gallery manager for GALLERIE V based in Cambridge. 

What do you remember most about your time at Aber?

I studied Fine Art and English Literature for my BA, and proceeded to go on to study a full-time Fine Art Masters at the beautiful School of Art, further developing my skills. The balance of independence as well as the curriculum was outstanding. We continued to receive weekly reviews even through Covid-19 in 2020; and the pandemic restrictions were dealt with professionally and thoughtfully. My favourite thing about Aberystwyth is the landscape and environment. As a landscape artist, going for daily walks into the hills during my Masters study, is a time I will remember forever. I hope to one day retire in Aberystwyth and continue to paint the Welsh scenery.

What are you doing now career-wise and how has your Aberystwyth degree helped?

I'm a self-employed artist and creative based in Cambridge. As well as being an artist I work part-time as a freelancer managing GALLERIE V: an independent NFP Youth Gallery. In late 2022 I curated our autumn show where young artists aged 14-25 explored "mythologies, monochrome and chiaroscuro". I'm so proud of this exhibition and how it was received by both locals and Cambridge University students alike. This positive reception even prompted an article to be written in Varsity, the local student-led newspaper.

My internship as a Curatorial and Technical Support Assistant at the School of Art Gallery and Museum organised by the AberCareers service has not only directly influenced my desired career path, but opened my eyes to the opportunities within the art world and allowed me to find something I could do forever.

What advice would you have for a student doing your course now?

If you’re unsure what route you want to take in life, University is a great way to solidify your passions. If you really enjoy something and find academic life suits you, you can go one step further and do a Masters. On the other hand, if what you study at University isn’t what you end up working in? I genuinely don’t think it's a problem. You will have still gained excellent qualities and tools like being disciplined, independent, self-critical and confident, and will have improved your ability to communicate with others.

A career in the Arts is something that isn’t often seen as a “traditional” job, but I think it’s important to dispel this attitude and talk to people who do have careers in the Arts. Ask them directly what it’s like, what sort of opportunities are there? How can you get involved? Can you volunteer? So, my main advice would be: to take all of the opportunities you can, within reason. Reflect on those experiences and tailor your future work experiences gradually after you leave University.