Emerging RMIT artist Isabelle de Kleine gained invaluable professional experience during her studies and went on to snap up the 2015 National Portrait Gallery's digital portrait prize.
I grew up in Western Australia, but chose to study at RMIT in Melbourne because of the way they teach fine art.
RMIT places a huge emphasis on studio working. I had my own individual space in the city to be able to create work.
The staff are highly skilled and knowledgeable practising artists, each with a unique way of teaching. They took time to get to know my working style and offered personalised and valuable feedback.
They mentor and guide you so you can have artistic freedom. Other universities provided a more rigid approach to fine art, which didn’t give me room to grow as an artist.
As part of the degree, I completed an internship at a commercial gallery in Collingwood. I got to know the directors and curators and participate in the process of setting up exhibitions and the work that goes into running a show. What a fantastic opportunity to be able to engage with the industry and contemporary artists!
Being mentored by professional artists, I was introduced to video art at the start of my degree and I've since had great success in creating videos as an accompaniment to my paintings. I submitted a video portrait to the Macquarie Digital Portrait Prize 2015 at the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra and to Channels Festival 2015. The work, ‘Untitled’, of Curtis Edwards, was selected as one of ten international finalists for Channels Festival and won a $15,000 residency and mentorship program at The Edge in Brisbane.