Tom Whittle is studying fine art at Newcastle University
Last week we went to a workshop out in the countryside in Northumberland as part of our course. We went to some studios that are owned by a woman who invites resident artists up, so we met them. It was really good. We went out and drew in the countryside, and there was also a sound artist there, so we recorded some sounds.
Sound art is quite a hazy subject and it's hard to present. It's a bit strange. I wouldn't personally use it. I'm trying to make a soundtrack at the moment for an installation a friend is making. I think sound as part of an installation can really add to the atmosphere and to the art, but if you're putting just sound into an art gallery, that changes it because the environment affects the way you respond to it, even if you're in an empty room. You can never just have "sound". You're always trying to visualise it, or thinking about how the sound works in the physical space.
We camped overnight and the next day some people from the Royal College came. They were musicians and poets and they tried to get us to just draw how we felt, and then said they were going to work off us. So they were reading poetry and playing music and making noise and we were drawing. It was quite strange. I'd never done that kind of thing before. We ended up wrapping each other up in paper. It was really good fun.
It was fantastic to meet practising artists. It's nice to see how different artists work and what they do day-to-day. You don't see what goes into a finished piece when you see it hanging in the gallery. In my own work, I'm really interested in the way different things come together to produce something coherent; in the process.
I think the course was useful. We did this one technique called contour drawing. We were up a hill and we drew the landscape but we didn't look at the paper, just at the contours of the countryside. I'm going to be teaching a class in my old school in September and I think I'm definitely going to use that method with them. It's really good because it makes you really look at the subject and not at the paper.
We've only got one exam, in art history. But I've got to have my portfolio done soon, with everything documented and sorted out. And I'm still working on a portraiture project. I've learned a lot while I've been doing it. It's self-portraits. It's easier to get a model that way!
I haven't got many plans for the summer. Just to try and get a job and do a bit of travelling, go to some festivals. I want a job that I want to do. I quite fancy being a bike courier, that would be fun. But it might be a bit dangerous. I've got some friends who are going to be in Italy so I might go and see them, and maybe catch the Biennale in Venice. I'm feeling a bit guilty because I haven't been to many galleries recently. Oh, actually, I went to one in Berlin at Easter, so that's all right.
Laura Bruce is doing media studies and advertising at Chester University
Laura has been having rock'n'roll adventures. She travelled from Chester to Sheffield to see the band 65daysofstatic - and ended up sitting up all night at Sheffield train station to get the first train home in the morning.
Anna Berrill is studying music at Oxford Brookes University
Anna is already on summer vacation - though she's not taking it easy. She's started her internship at American Vogue, where everyone is amazingly well dressed. She particularly enjoyed being introduced to the fashion cupboard, with its separate section for Marc Jacobs.