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Ella Deadman

Meet Ella, a dynamic and driven London Metropolitan University arts graduate who now works for the very institution that helped her discover her passions. Her experience of feeling more confident speaking on important issues like race and equality is a testament to the power of diversity in communities like South London and the University. For Ella, it's about enjoying the journey, facing your fears and bringing your skills together to form your whole self.

"Having the freedom to explore all those different types of art is amazing. It's an experience you don't get at school—access to that kind of equipment and the time to explore what you want to do."
A woman wearing a t shirt holding a book. The background is full of illustrations.

The real London

"The support from my tutors and technicians was great. There was nothing too weird that they couldn't figure out a way to help me achieve."
A woman wearing a white coat standing over a desk

The real London

"People come to university and think they have to know what they want to do, but it’s just the beginning, not the end."
A woman in a green top standing in front of a wall full of graffiti

The real London

Ella Deadman

South London to me means home. I feel like it's where my people are, my tribe. I would never live in any other part of London. My mum spent a lot of her time around Battersea and Brixton when I was growing up. We both went to the Fridge when we were younger and attended Mass. Being on those streets, I think you feel the history of the place and what it means to some people. It's not just an area; it's a community.

I used to work in a picture framers and gallery. I got to work on pieces by Damien Hirst, which was amazing. The owner saw my own work, and said I should sell it. After a few private commissions I was asked to do a piece for an advertising project. I started to realise that this is not the impact I want to have. I had a big break, and a few years later, I started looking for a university that would allow me to do just my final year and explore what I liked about creative practice.

South London to me means home. Being on those streets, I think you feel the history of the place and what it means to some people. It's not just an area; it's a community.

When I came to London Met for the third year, I absolutely loved it. I really wish I'd done my whole degree here. When I saw it and realised it was near to Shoreditch, Brick Lane, and Petticoat Lane Market, this creative area of London, I had the opportunity to do things I had never done before. It opened my eyes to what I could do. London Met helped me realise I don't have to just design a poster; I can design a whole event, something huge.

Having the freedom to explore all those different types of art is amazing. If I could do it again, I would. It's an experience you don't get at school—access to that kind of equipment and the time to explore what you want to do. People come to university and think they have to know what they want to do, but it’s just the beginning, not the end. Having the ability to explore is key for an artist, creator, designer, or maker to figure out what they love to do. London Met gave me the opportunity to think differently and not fear failure, to try things out and see where they go.

The support from my tutors and technicians was great. There was nothing too weird that they couldn't figure out a way to help me achieve.

The London Met community is diverse, with over 140 nationalities on campus. That's something I responded to when I came here—seeing that diversity in one place and the ability to learn from diverse schools of thought. Having diverse thought within a project or event helps you consider all aspects and all the people who may attend or access the project. While at university, you also have a wider network of people around you—photographers, writers, journalists, scientists. When you graduate, those people are harder to find and connect with.

Having a social impact is important to me. As a young black woman who grew up in south London, I've seen things I haven't been happy with. As I've gotten older, it's started to hit home, and I think about all those times when I didn't speak up or do something when I could have.

As I've grown with confidence, I feel like I can speak on things more now. I'm more confident when speaking on issues like equality, diversity, and race. That's a change in me, but also a change in our world and culture. It's something we don't have to fear as much anymore. I want my work to align with my passions and values. If we all delve into our work experience, background, and history, we can do that.

Ella in a striped top smiling at someone off camera

"Having the ability to explore is key for an artist, creator, designer, or maker to figure out what they love to do. London Met gave me the opportunity to think differently and not fear failure, to try things out and see where they go."

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