I’m Catherine Jamieson, a third year Art History student at St John’s College, Oxford. I’m especially interested in medieval art, particularly illuminated manuscripts, and I’m applying for a MA in Medieval Studies at the University of York. At the moment I’m researching the 14thC carvings at Winchester Cathedral for my dissertation on the medieval relationship to the natural world. My interest in this period was sparked by an amazing project I did in my first year, a close object study of a late medieval book of hours in the Bodleian. This little book was made for an ordinary laywoman, and turning its pages gave me that thrill of connection to an unnamed lady who lived 500 years ago. I love the vibrancy, intensity and immediacy of medieval art, and especially the way that high spirituality and raucous comedy can happily coexist. The work of Michael Camille – especially his ‘Image on the Edge’ – has really inspired me, as well as the writing of Caroline Walker Bynum and Jack Hartnell on the medieval body. After my MA I’m hoping to undertake a PhD on a medieval theme and become an academic medievalist, producing more research on this fascinating period. I’m so excited for the palaeography element of the MA course – I definitely want to work closely with manuscripts again as part of my academic career.
I started this blog in 2017 when I was 17 and in the first year of sixth form studying Art History A Level. Although I was very lucky to be able to do this (my sixth form dropped it the year I left) I was so frustrated by the way we had to write about art – cool, precise, impersonal. We had lesson after lesson on how to describe paintings with quasi-scientific objectivity and it felt so dull (and such a futile endeavour). I started this blog as a place where I could ramble about art to my heart’s content, as subjective and passionate as I liked. Now I’m 20 and in my final year of uni, this blog is now a way I can develop my thinking and writing beyond my academic work. I also want my posts to inspire interest in art history and the medieval world, and make readers curious to learn more. So thank you for reading! :))
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