This week we spoke to Fine Art student and president of the Christian Union Society, Celeste Drouin-Davis. She broke down to us who inspires her, how she works and also revealed which music artist she was in the 0.5% of listeners around the world for last year. You’ll have to read on to find out who that is!
STUDENTS’ UNION: Hi Celeste! Thanks for taking the time out to speak with us. So, we know that you’re a Fine Art student, but what medium do you work with?
CELESTE DROUIN-DAVIS: I largely do video work.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Ah, cool. Who or what would you say inspires you?
CELESTE DROUIN-DAVIS: So many things inspire me as an artist, but time and time again I always find myself being inspired by my friends and what they work about. I find I am always my most inspired when I am talking to someone else about their own work. Recently, I found a photographer called Nick Waplington, his work is really diverse in terms of style. I really enjoy photo books; their layout and general aesthetics are so beautiful. I'm a bit unusual in terms of what tutors look for, I find my work relies more and more on theory and philosophy these days.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Ah, ok. How would you say that has influenced your creative process?
CELESTE DROUIN-DAVIS: My process is always changing, but I mostly start by making a piece of poetry, and then this piece of poetry inspires what I will create in a video.
STUDENTS’ UNION: So when you say that your work relies more on theory and philosophy these days, is there anyone in particular that you’ve been reading or looking towards recently?
CELESTE DROUIN-DAVIS: Recently, my work has been inspired mainly by Gaston Bachelard's Poetics of Space, a book which has allowed me to think a lot deeper about the space I have been living in, whether it be in my hometown or in Leeds.
STUDENTS’ UNION: That sounds really interesting. We may have to give it a read ourselves and get a little introspective. What mindstate do you find you work best from?
CELESTE DROUIN-DAVIS: I find if I am feeling sad, I can create poetry more honest and true to myself. This creates work which is in a spirit of melancholy but when it comes to making the video, I need a lot more motivation to create it as it can take a long time. So just being relaxed but ready is a good mindset for that.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Is there any music that you feel helps you get into that mindstate?
CELESTE DROUIN-DAVIS: I mainly listen to Radiohead when I work, I made a whole playlist on my Spotify with all of Thom Yorke's music, according to my Spotify wrapped, I was in the top 0.5% of listeners last year. I find his music allows me to think deeper and get into the right mindset to write poetry.
STUDENTS’ UNION: Well that’s definitely something to get in your Instagram bio haha. You mentioned that you’ve been thinking about the space that you live in, which leads me to ask, from what you’ve learnt, what advice would you give to other artists who may be thinking about coming to study at LAU?
CELESTE DROUIN-DAVIS: I think coming to LAU to study was the best option for me as there’s such a strong emphasis on producing practical work here. The best thing I could advise it to be prepared. Make work during the summer, visit exhibitions and try to stay as engaged as you can before you start your degree so you can hit the ground running.
STUDENTS’ UNION: That’s a really nice piece of advice. Thanks for taking the time out to speak to us Celeste, it’s been great to find a little bit more about you!
If you would like to see more of Celeste’s work, you can follow her on Instagram at, @celesteeni. As mentioned, Celeste is the President of the Christian Union Society here at LAU, so if you’d like to find out more about the society and join up, you can do so by clicking here!