Postcard... from Birmingham Colleges

Experience of a Chevening scholar at Birmingham City University

I am a Chevening Scholar who returned from the U.K. a few years ago, and now don many hats — artist, dreamer, animator, entrepreneur and film-maker. I am proud to have under my belt, a slew of short films, animation films, corporate videos, and more.

Inspiration is a beautiful thing. It can suddenly appear before you like a vision, or sneak up on you out of nowhere and leave you surprised. It might be stimulated or spontaneous. What inspired me though, is not as important as what led me to create. As an artist, I tried my hand at everything — from brush strokes to graphics, animation and experimental film-making. In this Chevening journey, I realised that exposure to new people, places and experiences impacted my art in more ways than one.

I completed my Bachelors in Fine Art (BFA) and Master’s in Fine Art (MFA) in Painting from the Government College of Fine Arts, Chennai. I have always been passionate about visual story-telling, I pursued research that blended together fine art and animation. It was a period which threw up an explosion of ideas which I encapsulated as experimental films. These films were screened at different film festivals in many countries. I was thrilled when one of my films was selected and screened along with British short films at the Indo-British film festival in four Indian cities. I applied for the UK Chevening Scholarship in 2003 and was awarded a full scholarship to pursue my Master’s in Animation at Birmingham City University, the U.K. I was thankful for this golden opportunity that was way beyond my dreams .

Exposure

Birmingham is the second largest city in the U.K., and a beautiful place steeped in rich British culture and history. As I wandered through the art galleries, bewitched before original works of masters and soaked in the picturesque British countryside, the cobbled streets, bridges and landscape, creativity sought me. The college arranged a one-day tour every month to an industry or historical place within the U.K. Chevening also gave me the unique opportunity to interact with various industries, politicians and technology experts during the course of my scholarship. This exposure shaped my thoughts and creativity, and changed my outlook towards life.

I was indeed privileged to study at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD). It was equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and studio facilities. We had experienced and friendly tutors. Every student reported to a personal tutor who mentored our research. It was more of a lab-based, self-taught course under the guidance of the tutors. My graduation film was screened in the Cannes Film Festival and BBC Big Screen in Birmingham. I found out about many other film competitions and participated. I know I would never have had this exposure anywhere else. I wouldn’t have done all this without Chevening. I have a message for young people who are looking to study in the U.K.: A Chevening Scholarship is prestigious; it is meant for future leaders, innovators, and people with a vision to make an impact on their country or empower people. If you want to make the world a better place to live in now and in the future, apply for it and turn your dreams to reality.

Praveen Chrispugg currently owns his own animation studio and is also a consultant in Chennai.

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Printable version | Apr 17, 2021 6:17:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/colleges/inspired-to-create/article29540633.ece

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