CSVPA student secures University of Oxford offer

CSVPA student secures University of Oxford offer

Cambridge School of Visual and Performing Arts (CSVPA) is proud to announce that Level 3 Foundation Diploma Art & Design student Olive Au has gained an offer from the University of Oxford to study Fine Art. 

Responding to her offer, Olive said, “On initially applying I did not expect to get in. So when I got the acceptance email, I was really over the moon.”  

The University of Oxford is ranked first in the UK for Fine Art by The Guardian and The Times rankings. For Olive, this an excellent next step in her artistic journey. She will join The Ruskin School of Art, which delivers the Bachelor of Fine Art, and engage in a rich artistic community committed to fostering creativity.  

A strong portfolio showcasing a student’s creativity, skill and disciplinary range is essential to secure an offer for a creative degree.  On the Foundation Diploma course, CSVPA students receive detailed, personalised feedback from their tutors. Opportunities to develop portfolio content are built into units of work and students enjoy dedicated independent studio time to develop their projects and pieces. Portfolio feedback is also offered by some visiting speakers. 

Olive said, “At first, when I put my work into my portfolio, it was just a mess. I tried to put everything in one slide, which doesn’t allow the work itself to breathe. My tutors really helped me quite a lot with my portfolio, because the Oxford applications are tough.” 

Neil Ayling, Pathway Leader in 3D Design and Fine Art, was the main point of contact for Olive with her portfolio.  

Neil said “Olive is a brilliant student with a diverse toolkit at her disposal, she knew what she wanted to communicate through the portfolio she submitted to the University of Oxford. 

“My role as pathway lead was to assist her in the articulation of her vision, advising her on structuring her portfolio to allow her work to speak for itself and bring it together in a coherent way.”  

Olive has demonstrated exceptional talent during her studies at CSVPA. She draws together various artistic disciplines in a unique personal style. Her inspiration is drawn from her personal experiences and sense of humour about the world around her.

Pictured is the CSVPA student Olive Au looking through her portfolio application on a laptop
Olive looks through her portfolio application

Talking about her work and inspiration, Olive said, “I’ve always been told that my work is quite quirky and humorous. To be honest, life is quite monotonous – so there is a mechanism in me that always sees the small little wonders in life and I try to see the most interesting aspects from the most trivial things. My inspiration is definitely internal, and not external.” 

Neil noted that, “She brings her unique sense of humour to her art practice. She channels her emotions into sculpture and photography through a humorous narrative and distinctive storytelling.” 

CSVPA takes pride in its role as a stepping stone for students like Olive, helping them unlock their potential and pursue their dreams at prestigious arts institutions like the University of Oxford and University of the Arts London. CSVPA seeks to expand every student’s artistic toolbox, encouraging cross-disciplinary work that enhances creativity. By offering a diversity of learning experiences, CSVPA prepares students to pursue a wide range of university degrees and career paths in the creative arts industry. 

As Olive prepares for this new chapter at Oxford in September 2024, we extend our congratulations and best wishes for a successful academic and artistic journey. 

Find out more about courses like Olive’s here.