Amit has been working with vulnerable young people for almost 20 years and has been a freelance creative working in sound and art for close to 15 years.
He graduated from Chelsea College of Art & Design with a BA in Fine Art, and then later took a left-turn and studied at Roehampton University receiving an MSc in Applied Music Psychology.
He works as a sound artist, composer & performer, as well as co-running the arts initiative ‘IMA Studio’.
How has working with Protégé students affected my practice as an artist?
To answer bluntly and shortly, it hasn’t.
My work as an artist is rooted in sound. So far there has not been an opportunity to explore or use that knowledge with the students and to be fair; who can blame them.
The essence of my personal practice requires a great deal of thought prior to action, an understanding or experience of how sound moves, what sound can do, how sound can interact with space, audio illusions and the like. Unless I studied what I studied (or more accurately, the way I studied what I studied) or did some form of sonic art OR had a motivational interest in Sounds, Sonics and/or Frequencies, I don’t think I would be interested in trying to understand what ‘Sound Art’ is.
So why would our students? From what we’ve learned so far, most young people very rarely wander from ‘Rap’ (you know, rap… beginning with a silent ‘C’?)
I guess I could put forward an argument for the development in sound through sub-genres like Grime, and now Dub-step (‘The Evolution of Bass’?) but that excites me on an intellectual level and from experience what excites me on an intellectual level, well… it doesn’t necessarily excite others.
Perhaps as our students progress through the projects they work on, there will be an opportunity where my skills as an artist are more useful, but for now… no sign of land.
Now. Has working with the students at Protégé affected my practice as a person? To answer shortly, Yes.
I may not have had opportunities to use my skills as an artist to help students but the way I structure my work has helped. This ‘structure’ could more appropriately be called ‘work ethic’. It is through this that I have had a chance to impact upon our students learning, and through that I’ve had a chance to develop those skills myself.
When you break it down, peoples interests alienate those who do not share that interest. But there is a common factor; a human factor. I started out just like them and although all of our lives are unique, we’re all HERE! In this same place. And there must be something we can benefit from mutually.
Regardless of my chosen profession I had to have taken a path to get there and it is this ‘path’ that informs my work with the students. We, the artists, are living examples of trying to get where we want to get to and we are examples in motion. All these things feed back into the work we do because they show aspirations, problem solving, time management, self-management, patience, hard work and dedication – all things worth passing on to our students.
By trying to incorporate these things into projects I get a chance to try to bridge the gap between student and artist. Our students represent a large number of excluded young people: A group who are often viewed through glasses of pre-conception. It is easy to see that their current situations have almost stopped the development of certain traditional skills, but at the same time other skills have had to develop in a non-traditional fashion.
So finding that link and paralleling it with my own life is where that ‘bridge’ starts. Finding the way over it is what affects my practice.
To me it doesn’t matter what ‘path’ we are on in order to create these moments of mutually beneficial learning. I guess you could say that all that really matters is that we, as artists, are on a path. If we can dedicate our lives to doing something outside the norm and can find a way for it to function then we can set that as an example. If we leave our aspirations at the door then we also leave the part of us that has true potential to connect with our students.
My practice in ‘Sonic Arts’ may not be utilised as a skill inside protégé but the work that is done here gives me a lot of food for thought. And for someone who appreciates thought prior to action, that’s just as valuable, and suits me fine.
Work at the V&A Museum
Rap Translation - Waitrose by Carl
Waitrose is our favourite
also Aldi and Lidl could make it
Waitrose’s Superior quality of food
happy chappy always in a good mood, never rude
Cheap and cheerful aldi and lidl got a tremendous score
when triumphed over Sainburys, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda
that were supposed to be the top four
These are shops you would recommend to a friend
oh wait I cant see netto’s…
oh yeah its at the end.