02 Feb ART STUDENTS – TINO CHIWARIRO
Tell us about your background?
TC: I’m from Zimbabwe, specifically Gweru city. I moved to England when I was 9 in 2009 and I’ve been here ever since, mainly in West Midlands. I’m currently studying Photography at London College of Communication.
What drew you to pursuing an art degree?
TC: It was mainly my teacher in A-Levels. I did Photography as an A-level and my teacher and I got along well. She encouraged me to get into the creative industry and I liked it. She introduced me to UAL and well now I’m here.
What was your parents’ reaction to it?
TC: My Dad was supportive but my mum didn’t quite understand where I was going to go with the degree. My Dad just told to me to do what I want and if I’m clever enough I’ll make it.
Do you think there is a stigma around pursuing an art degree in the Afro-Caribbean society?
TC: Yes. I think it comes from your parents. You grow up being told that it’s not a career path you can pursue and be able to live on it or look after your family with. That’s the way they’ve grown up looking at it and I have grown up through that. But, if I’m the generation where I’m doing an art degree I’m sure the next generation will go further into it.
Do you have any fears it won’t be viable financially?
TC: You should be worried whatever course you are doing. I feel there are ups and downs for everything. I guess I worry but I just work with I have and focus on what I’m going through at the time.
Which of your pieces are you most proud of?
TC: Probably the piece I’m working on right now. I don’t really know what to call it, but I’m just working on girls right now. My project is about girls – youth wards – and I’ve found so many interesting people. I’ve met people I wouldn’t normally meet. I just DM them and we meet up. One girl in particular, came all the way from Essex and was willing to do it for free and it was so chill. I’d hang out with her afterwards.
What would you say to someone who is considering pursuing an art degree but is afraid?
TC: Just do it. If you think you are going to starve because your parents are not going to support you, don’t worry. You’ll work it out somehow. You’re going to have to struggle at some point, might as well be now.
Here are some of Tino’s pieces: