Katherine Martin

Art, Design & Photography

HND Contemporary Art Practice

“Coming to College turned out to be the best decision I could have made. I grew in confidence, and it really prepared me for university.”


Katherine Martin (19) came to NESCol after her fifth year at school keen to concentrate on her passion for art. The subject choices available to her at secondary didn’t appeal so she decided to enrol at College and study a course that would allow her to fully focus on her strengths.

Her College experience was tricky at first as unknown to Katherine at the time, she was struggling with undiagnosed ADHD. She lacked in confidence and didn’t settle until she received her diagnosis and was medicated.

Katherine, from Huntly, said: “It was a massive turning point for me and it felt like everything got better from then onwards. I informed the College’s Student Advice and Support team about my diagnosis, who in turn advised my lecturers. They were great and made sure they spent time with me talking through project briefs and giving key points to consider. I developed a really good relationship with both my lecturers and classmates and was delighted to make friends.”

Katherine’s confidence grew and so did the quality of her work. She loved the broad nature of the course and the freedom to explore different disciplines. Near the end of her HND, Katherine exhibited some of her work in the College’s acclaimed end of year show for creative industries students and her work was chosen by judges as the Winner of the Best Work on the Wall for Contemporary Art Practice.

Katherine said: “I was really surprised when I found out that I’d won as my whole class were really talented. My work that was chosen by the judges were two self-portraits around the theme of insecurity. I enjoyed being able to use my own personal experiences to create the pieces and it was nice to have them appreciated and recognised.”

Successful attainment of her HND has allowed Katherine to progress to Gray’s School of Art at RGU to study a BA in Fine Art. She also has her first solo exhibition coming up at The Aberdeen Arts Centre.

Katherine added: “Coming to College turned out to be the best decision I could have made. I grew in confidence, and it really prepared me for university. In the future I would love to use my qualifications and experiences to become an art therapist.”