Returning student inspires artists and poets

As a part of Truro College’s Art Alumni Talks, poet, artist and Truro College Alumni Ella Frears returned to the College to get students inspired for their future after College.

Ella Frears in one of the art rooms holding her old College sketch book

Past student, Poet and Visual Artist Ella Frears shows her old Fine Art Sketchbook at an Alumni talk given to current students.

Since leaving the College 10 years ago, Ella has made a name for herself as a poet and artist and has worked with organisations such as Tate St Ives, Tate Briton, The National Trust, the Observatory in New Forest, she even had a residency in the Physics department at Royal Holloway University where she wrote about the spacecraft Cassini during its final year of its mission.

Ella has also won various prizes for her poems, including The National Poetry Competition, which is the UK’s biggest competition. Last year, they received over 17,000 submissions, which included Ella’s poem about Cornwall. Not only was the Truro College alumni one of only 10 entrants to win a prize, but her poem was the first in the competition to feature a swear word in the title, which caused a massive stir in the poetry community.

During her talk, Ella spoke about her time at College and her time since, with special focus on the work she’s done, saying: “I had such a good time here. It was the point at which I woke up. My previous school hadn’t been the most exciting place to learn and then suddenly I had lecturers who loved their subjects and students that wanted to learn in my classes and that really switched me on. I owe a lot to Truro College.”

Tristan Sherwood, who taught Ella when she was at the College and who now organises the Alumni Talks, said: “We’re so lucky that we’ve got these amazing alumni students who have gone on to all sorts of really interesting and creative things. It’s a great opportunity for students in Cornwall to see where they can go and what they can do.

“We’re so lucky to have past students who are happy to come back and share their experiences. It’s very inspiring for students to hear about life beyond College and the classroom. You can be a teacher and you can be very passionate and encouraging, but there is a difference in terms of hearing a teacher and then hearing someone who is actually out there doing those things. I know that our students really benefit from the alumni talks so thank you, Ella, it’s been lovely.”

Current first year Fine Art student Molly found Ella’s talk very inspiring, saying: “It was really nice hearing the talk as it expanded my thoughts on what I can do later on. You don’t really hear about things actually happening like this and it’s nice to know that there are different opportunities and where you can go with it.” After the talk, Molly immediately went to find a book so she could start writing poems alongside her artwork.