Mature student fulfils ambition at Final Year degree show

A talented artist from Ayrshire has fulfilled a lifelong ambition as she finishes her studies and her paintings go on display in Aberdeen.

Suzann RossSuzann Ross (43), who is studying Painting at Gray’s School of Art, has unveiled the culmination of four years’ hard work at the annual Degree Show, which runs until Saturday, June 24.

She had originally planned to study painting straight from school but due to a change in circumstances, her plans were put on hold.

“I had applied to study Painting on leaving school many moons ago, but due to circumstances changing this did not come in to fruition, and it was something I felt was never fulfilled,” she said.

“I had been helping my oldest daughter explore further education options, prior to her completing her sixth year of secondary education and this initiated a search of my own.  I attended the North East College in Aberdeen which enabled me to build a portfolio and apply to study painting at Gray’s.”

Suzann’s work, which will go on display with more than 100 fellow students’, focuses on her early experiences with the social care system.

“I have drawn ideas from my childhood experiences of the social care system and later experiences as a young adult attempting to navigate the bureaucratic systems of a state run administration. 

“My work explores the continued existence of the material archive and its accessibility.  I aim to emphasise the fragile connection that exists between the tangible object and our grasp of the life it documents.”

For Suzann, there have been many highlights from her University experience, which she believes has changed her outlook and understanding of the arts, culture and the world at large and prepared her for life after graduation.

“From my own perspective the thing I will take from my time at Gray’s is the interaction and immersive nature of Gray’s studio culture.  It unites students of all disciplines and teaching practitioners by way of an ever-changing conversation that I know I have benefited enormously from.

“Throughout my time at University I have developed a range of transferrable skills, including problem solving, interpersonal relations and established a strong work ethic which will enable me to gain employment in an area which I enjoy.”

The Gray’s School of Art Degree Show, which is sponsored by BP for the fourteenth year, runs from June 17 to 24 and will showcase work by students of all disciplines. 


Release by Rob Smith
Communications Officer | Design and Technology
Press and Media Enquiries