Graduating in 2016, George Borrie experienced the highs of graduation along with the lows of missing his arts classmates. Having become like family over three years of studying the Bachelor of Applied Media Arts (now known as the Bachelor of Visual Arts), it was a shock to the system when the course finished.
George has come a long way from the fresh high school kid who kept leaving the lens cap on his camera, and has now had one of his photos featured on the front cover of New Zealand Apparel Magazine. The fashion shoot that resulted in this impressive photo inspired him to continue studying in 2017, taking the Certificate in Pattern Making and Garment Construction. This is another first for George as he had never touched a sewing machine before the semester started.
On leaving high school, he was accepted into the Bachelor of Applied Media Arts programme. His focus at that stage was painting, but beginning study at Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) opened George’s eyes to the restrictions of his previous art education. In comparison, SIT had a multitude of media on offer. Some of the disciplines in which he dabbled included sculpture, performance, animation, painting, drawing, printmaking and film. By his third year, he had narrowed his focus to major in photography and graphic design but he enjoyed being able to collaborate with other artistic students, including those studying fashion, film and animation.
“I loved being at the Arts campus, everyone interacts and you get to know each other really well. It was all very communal and interactive which was great and something you wouldn’t be able to get at a larger institute with huge class sizes.”
“Every year there was a new challenge. Tutors were very open and knowledgeable as well as being inspirational - something which was important to me.”
George’s attitude towards art, and photography in particular, has changed a great deal since studying at SIT.
“It definitely changed the way I think. I now see photography as far less about pointing and shooting. It’s about choosing your moments, not just photographing ‘willy nilly’. We learned more about when is appropriate and the emphasis on quality over quantity.”
George’s long term plans aren’t set in stone as he prefers to figure it out as he goes. If pressed though, he is thinking along the lines of becoming a tutor in either visual arts or fashion.
“When I decide which one I want to specialise in, I will complete my masters.”
For the moment though, his focus is on giving his all to the fashion course. Having only completed three weeks so far, he is amazed at how much he has learned.
“It is exhausting, but in a very good way.”