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July 8, 2024

Patrick graduates with a life-size robotic lion

Patrick van der Meij is graduating from the bachelor's course in Fine Art and Design in Education at the Academy of Art & Design Zwolle. And he's doing it with a life-size 'robotic lion'. His work is a response to the increasingly capitalist language surrounding conservation. In this video, Patrick shares his experiences with Fine Art and Design in Education and how the course has helped him become a better artist.

"At first, I found it quite daunting to show my work to others; it felt very vulnerable", Patrick recalls about the start of his studies. However, through diverse and surprising assignments, he quickly found his place. A memorable moment for Patrick was when a teacher, dressed in a black-and-white suit with a painted face, communicated solely through notes to make a point about the possibilities in education. "Oh, is this what we do here...?! I was totally unprepared for that", he remembers.

Lion of the future  

In the Fine Art and Design in Education course, Patrick learned not only how to create visual art but also how to teach art himself. And that greatly benefits his own artistic practice. By reflecting a lot on himself and learning to give feedback, Patrick believes he enriches his own artistry. His artistic talent is evident in his final project, a sculpture of a lion that serves as a commentary on the increasingly capitalist language surrounding conservation. "My sculpture is a kind of satirical response; this is the lion of the future if it becomes extinct", he explains.

Dedicated teachers and excellent facilities

During his time at the academy, Patrick has had ample space to experiment and explore new techniques, supported by dedicated teachers and excellent facilities such as wood and metal workshops. "Teachers really think along with you, and there's no one saying, 'If you want to be an artist, here's a piece of marble and this is what you should do with it.' That's not something I would want either."

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Learn more about the Fine Art and Design in Education bachelor's course