Anais Comer Talks about her experience on Foundation at Central Saint Martins


The Foundation Show opens tomorrow and we spoke to Foundation Fine Art student Anais Comer about her experience on the course and how she is feeling about the show.

Tell us about your practice.

Anais: Much of my work has centered on my collecting and hoarding. Each project becomes creating a logic to this archive through categorizing, documenting and altering. For Unit 7 my proposal focused on discovering my own archive, using this to explore the possibilities of displaying collections. Reading works by Stefan Zweig and Walter Benjamin, I became aware of the differences between the collections of adult and child. Prompting me to re-visit my own childhood habits; hoarding pebbles, stones and shells from the beach. With the intention to apply the scientific curation of the adult to the collection of the child, these objects have become the subject of my piece, with subsequent work housing and describing these artifacts. I then started to study the museum itself, looking at the politics of display and the specifics of museum curation, applying these to my own beach collection and creating a final exhibition piece that adopts the style of the museum.

What is the main inspiration behind your work?

Anais: Reading works by Walter Benjamin and Stefan Zweig heavily influenced my approach to the project, prompting me to collect the shells and pebbles that became the focus of my final piece. Visiting the British, Natural History and Soane Museums were influential in discovering the specifics of museum curation, which I aimed to adopt in my exhibition piece.

How do you feel now the Foundation show?

Anais: Now that everything has been finished, I’m feeling excited.

Tell us about the process leading up to the show.

Anais: Preparation for the show was spent making sure everything was up to date and finished. I also was on a team to help create a catalogue for the show, so was also spending time collecting funds and photographs for this.

Why did you choose to study Foundation at CSM?

Anais: I was really interested in studying in London, and the course at CSM seemed the most engaging to me. The Kings Cross campus was also inspiring.

How have you developed your work while on the Foundation course at Central Saint Martins?

Anais: On Foundation I have become much more aware of the importance of research and the ways in which to apply outside reading to creative work. Through Unit 7 especially, I have found areas of study that most interest me, namely collecting, the archive and the museum.

What were your highlights on Foundation course at CSM and why would you recommend it?

Anais: Working in my specialist pathway was a highlight; meeting others with similar interests. The Diagnostic period also opened new methods and ways of thinking creatively.

What curriculum area did you study on during your Foundation?

Anais: Initially I was a diagnostic student, eventually specialising in Fine Art Practice.

How would you describe the Foundation Course? What is a typical day like?

Anais: The course is quite intensive, and it does fly by. Typically the day is spent working in the studio or library and talking to fellow students about each others projects.

Did you get involved with industry or exhibitions?

Anais: During Unit 7 I became involved in an external project with the Swiss bookbinding company BUBU. A competition, the brief was to redesign the physical form of the book. My offering for this developed from my study of the restrictiveness in displaying objects in museums; creating a fully bound, enclosed book in which its content is left unreachable.

What are your post-show plans?

Anais: After finishing Foundation I am going on to study BA: Fine Art at Central Saint Martins.

What advice would you give a Foundation student starting the course?

Anais: Go in with an open mind, keep up with your reflective journal and research file, and enjoy it!

More information: 


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