Keiko Rochaix

Student spotlight details

Keiko studied History of Art to consolidate her knowledge and to help with her gallery project.

‘I have been a student of the Department for Continuing Education since early 2013, when I took three ten-week courses on the history of art, two of which were online courses: Italian Renaissance Art c.1400-c.1500, and Learning to Look at Modern Art.

‘I then enrolled on the Certificate in the History of Art and the Diploma in the History of Art, the course I am enrolled on at the moment. I wanted a solid base of knowledge for starting an art gallery - an idea that I started to entertain late 2012 – which was the direct drive behind this multiple-year venture. Some advised me against it, believing it would distract me from the gallery project. However, in real life it has solidified my desire to set up my own enterprise, while providing me with a pure joy throughout the years, even discounting an inconvenience sometimes posed by the weekly commute from London to Oxford. Of course it goes without saying that it is the pleasure of learning in depth something you are passionate about, and having that experience lead by excellent teaching staff adds to the gratification as well as to the challenge. But now in retrospect, the four years have been significant for me as they represent a process where I have gained a self-confidence, in that I can indeed master what it is called for in the course: the capacity to think logically and to present the complex concepts in a way understandable to others.

‘The course not only let me explore various facets of works of art, it has also equipped me with the skill to present works of art of different eras, briefing why they are important and what they mean to the history of art as a whole. In other words, the course has been an excellent training for a galleriste in the making! My gallery has opened early 2017 and I have no doubt that having attended the course has made the project stronger and more complete.

‘It is an academic and demanding course; discipline as well as a true enthusiasm may be indispensable to accomplish what is called for. As mature students we are all engaged in a range of obligations from family, social to professional, and you may have to adjust priorities, including time management. It may be helpful to declare to people around you of your new commitment from the outset. But even with these disciplinary measures, the task demanded may seem overwhelming, especially under pressure, and I found passion being the strongest companion under such circumstances. After all, we have to remember that we can alway reach out for help, either to teaching or administrative staff, or even to the fellow students. In the end, if persevered, the course will definitely deepen one's perspective through exchanges with tutors, and it comes with the precious bonus of friendship with the fellow students which for me has been a true gift and an inseparable part of the whole experience.’

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