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New Beginnings 

Six years ago I was at a party in Oxford when the host told me about the Open University course she was studying. Returning to education was a thought that vaguely lingered in the back of my mind, sitting safely in the one day department. Back in the day I took a degree in English and Theatre at St Marys College, University of Surrey. I wasn't interested in pursuing those subjects any further, instead I wanted to study History of Art. This interest stemmed from taking an A'level in the subject at night school about 25 years ago. The A'level inspired an appreciation for art which led to a life time of visiting galleries and museums. Yet, whilst I enjoyed looking at art, I often felt like I didn't fully understand what I was seeing. I decided to address this and enrolled with the OU to study part time for a degree in Humanities and Art History. I completed this in May 2021.

Its A Family Affair...

Day trips and holidays centre around my studies. My long suffering husband tries his hardest to take an interest, but he prefers motorbikes and rugby to art. I am eternally grateful for the wonderful bars and cafes that can be found at or near galleries and museums that spur him on. Accepting my place at Warwick has turned our lives upside down. I've always been a stay at home Mum, even when studying. As I start my course our youngest daughter will become a fresher at Loughborough and our oldest daughter will enter her third year at Leeds. My husband will be working in Hampshire. Managing those distances will be.... interesting.

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The Course and Venice

Having somehow blagged my way into Warwick I now have serious Imposter Syndrome. Doubts keep circling in my mind, I'm too old, I'm not clever enough, I'll be lonely, my family will fall apart. But here I am and I'm doing this. Of all the courses on offer in UK universities this was the ideal choice for me. The course covers art from Medieval to Contemporary, yet can be tailored to focus on Renaissance art - my speciality. Warwick can offer this flexibility as it has a Renaissance Studies department and uniquely a campus in Venice. The most appealing part of the course to me was the opportunity to study a term in Venice (Covid permitting). There I can to pursue my special area of interest, the Venetian artist Vittore Carpaccio, previously I have focused on his lesser known works across the Adriatic in Koper, Slovenia.