UA Blog

Where Are They Now Wednesday: Laura Cummins

Laura Cummins from University of Leeds was highly commended in 2015 in the Music, Film, Theatre & Art History category.

Her paper was titled ‘The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the “state of emergency” in which we live is not the exception but the rule.’ (Walter Benjamin, ‘Theses on the Philosophy of History’) Discuss this quote from Walter Benjamin in relation to the films/texts explored on this module.

“Before the UA global summit, I hadn't considered doing a master's degree, but while I was there I met a few organisations and realised it was an option for me. The experience also showed me that I was good enough to continue my academic work.”

Laura was lucky enough to win a scholarship to Uversity's MA in Creative Process in 2016-2017, meaning she got the opportunity to return to Ireland to study. She was able to design her own master's across three different universities, and so spent a semester each in Dublin, Limerick, and Galway, studying diverse subjects from playwriting to cultural policy and festival management at UCD, UL, and NUIG.

“I conducted a research project that established a link between doodling and the development of ideas, and built on this for my thesis, which was the development an artwork and research project that demonstrated the potential of drawing as a means of investigating inequality in culture.”

This resulted in her creating a participatory artwork with members of the public on the main street in Galway, making a large communal drawing that was then displayed in Dublin. She has since been commissioned to repeat the project, and hope to add to it in a few different settings.

Having finished her MA, Laura has continued her itinerant lifestyle and is currently doing some project work with an arts organisation in Wakefield (in Yorkshire) aimed at increasing diversity in arts leadership and the cultural sector. She also doing some freelance article writing for people like Visual Artists Ireland, and working on a public health project that will use drawings for maternal education practices in The Gambia. As might be apparent, she has very varied interests, and is always willing to work on something if she think it’s interesting or important, so she doesn’t know what she will be doing next but she is sure it will at least be a challenge.

Read Laura's Highly Commended Paper on the Undergraduate Awards Library.