What’s after uni? Where Keemon took his visual arts degree

You’ll always hear people telling you to make the most of your time at uni, but what does that actually involve? QUT Graduate Keemon Williams shares how going to QUT transformed his creative process and found his voice.

What did you study, and what made you go to QUT?

I studied a Bachelor of Fine Arts, majoring in Visual Arts. I chose QUT because it was the university that intrigued me the most. With other institutions I saw a very familiar examination of visual languages. QUT seemed to offer an entirely unique approach. I wanted to study somewhere that would not just enhance my academic understanding, but completely reconfigure my creative process.

What kind of support did you receive at uni?

I’ve found the staff to be amongst the most dedicated and supportive mentors of my academic journey. My lecturers and tutors were all active industry practitioners who were ready and willing to support students in their creative endeavours. Each of my tutors have completely redefined my approach to my arts practice. Getting to know each of them has consolidated my practice through diverse and critical conversations about art.

Tell us about your learning environment.

There was an emphasis placed on experimentation. I feel as though I can say I’ve tried my hand at many artforms at least once during my time at QUT. Having that diversity of production has really allowed me to find where my interests lay.

QUT visual arts graduate Keemon Williams with his artwork, Territory, exhibited at the 2019 graduate show.

How did you gain confidence in your creative process, and where did that lead?

I found the atmosphere at QUT was of critical intellectual discussion and engaging collaborative activity. This has taught me not only how to formulate and express ideas to my peers, but how to share them to the broader community. This put me in the right frame of mind to effectively establish and nurture industry contacts and professional opportunities to further my practice. Through these contacts I have been involved in invaluable projects, professional experience and important discussions about my future, creating a network eager to work with and support me.

Tell us more about some of the major projects you’ve been involved in!

I was delighted to be involved in Botanica festival 2019, working alongside a group of other visual art students under QUT’s artist-run initiative Post Datum to deliver a public art installation called Sky Pool in the Botanic Gardens. I worked on promotional material, designing and editing publications and as an official curator to deliver various exhibitions, including Uncertain Futures at Metro Arts.

Outside of university, I have been fortunate enough to work on projects such as Open Actions, a public art exhibition at Enoggera Resevoir facilitated by Metro Arts, Blacklash Projects and people+artist+place. I was also thrilled to partake in an internship via QUT at Metro Arts, to be part of the amazing graduate exhibition Epoch, and was awarded the Hilde Chenhall Memorial Scholarship valued at $10,000.

That’s amazing. What did you learn out of all this?

I have learnt to take myself seriously as an artist. To gain the language and reflective skills, to see the value in all forms of art and process. The teaching staff have nurtured my ambitions, supporting me in projects, believing in me and giving me the faith I needed to consider an ongoing practice outside of university. My work is now more defined, refined and dissects the topics that interest me. I’ve found a voice and the confidence to use it.

Keemon has been also just been selected for Hatched: National Graduate Show at PICA – Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts. His work will work will sit alongside 24 recent visual arts graduates from every State and Territory in Australia.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Visual Arts course, make sure to view the course page to see what is involved.