Roma Anderson

Roma Anderson is doing a PhD in Fine Arts with a Creative Component. She enjoys the degree’s flexibility, which enables her to incorporate multiple disciplines into her artistic practice.

Roma standing outside
Roma Anderson

“I love that no matter our interests, or the style of our work, the teaching staff always provide feedback to push us and help us deepen our enquiries in our chosen practice.

“The part of my degree I enjoy most is how expansive and flexible it can be. I used to believe that my art was separate from my interests, but the more I progressed in my studies, the more I realised that they inform each other. There is a lot of freedom to experiment, try new things and push ideas and processes to their limit. This has allowed me to create things I never imagined I would be able to.”

Why study at Elam?

“In my first year, we started with sculpture, painting, printmaking, drawing, design thinking, photography, performance art, critical art theory, and writing. So, despite coming into Elam believing I was a painter, I soon realised my artistic practice could encompass much more. I could be an artist who worked in multiple disciplines.

“Without the breadth of practice available to Elam students in that first year, I might still be operating under the assumption I was only a painter or have given up making art altogether.”

Advice for future PhD candidates

"I think doctoral study can be an intimidating prospect, but it is a great opportunity to dedicate an extended period to your creative practice and research interests.”

It can be difficult to make the step to commit that much time to yourself and your art, but it gives you so much time to deepen your understanding of your practice and enrich your engagement with the field you work within. In short, just go for it!

Roma Anderson

Studying Fine Arts at doctoral level

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to have extended time to explore my research and ideas and create new work. I think one of the things that characterise postgraduate study is this depth of enquiry.

“Your supervisors are invaluable because they offer their experience in both the professional field of Fine Arts and as previous postgraduate students. You also become part of a community you can share your research with. You can attend seminars and lectures from professionals in the field, as well as from your fellow postgraduate students, and receive insight into their research and work.”

Roma Anderson in her studio space on campus
Roma Anderson in her studio space on campus

Roma's art

“My creative practice involves various forms of photography, as well as digital and new media. I explore glitches, broken code, and artificial intelligence in the digital realm. In photography, I investigate camera-less techniques, light leaks, and damaged or expired film.

“Throughout my postgraduate studies, I have been exclusively photographing the Tāmaki River and its streams, estuaries, and tributary arms. I am interested in the ecology of mangroves and wetlands and their complexity.”

Roma collects old cameras, which she uses in her photography. One of her favourites is her Asahi Pentax which belonged to her great-grandfather. She believes that working with cameras that once belonged to other people is a special way to connect to other times and places.

Explore Roma's website 

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See Roma's work on Lensculture