Goldsmiths, University of London, is one of the UK’s leading universities for the creative arts, with the success of its alumni proving this point excellently. From film and art to popular music, Goldsmiths’ alumni are found amongst the best known artists today.
On 2nd March 2014, Steve McQueen’s film 12 Years a Slave picked up the Best Picture Oscar at the 86th Academy Awards. Steve McQueen made his first films at Goldsmiths, while studying the BA Fine Art course. In 1999, six years after graduating, he won the Turner Prize for his original approach to film installation and his innovative work in other media. In addition to these, Steve McQueen has also won a BAFTA for Best Film and a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture.
Steve McQueen’s Oscar success means that alumni of Goldsmiths have now picked up an Oscar, the Turner Prize and the Barclaycard Mercury Prize in the past five months.
The Turner Prize 2013, the UK’s most prestigious art award, was won by Laure Prouvost for her film Wantee. She studied the MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths as an international student from France. With this success, Laure Prouvost actually became the 7th Goldsmiths alumni to win the Turner Prize.
Mercury Prize-winning producer and singer-songwriter, James Blake, studied for his BMus Popular Music at Goldsmiths. He has won critical acclaim for his brand of electronic music, which mixes elements of dubstep, R&B, trip-hop and soul. He was awarded the Mercury Price 2013 for his second album Overgrown.
So, why are Goldsmiths’ alumni so successful?
Goldsmiths warden, Pat Loughrey, believes that the university plays a significant part in graduates’ success. He believes that Goldsmiths’ location, just outside of central London, gives students room to express their artistic personality. In addition, Goldsmiths is also a venue for cultural events, with public talks, exhibitions or concerts taking place most evenings during term-time.
The achievements of Goldsmiths’ alumni are not limited to the past few years, with success stories going back many decades. To find out more about other famous alumni, take a look at the Goldsmiths’ Gold Stories.