Blog > To Learn, To Create, To Discover: An interview with Eva Smininova

To Learn, To Create, To Discover: An interview with Eva Smininova

Eva has just finished her six months gallery and arts internship with Oxford House. She has contributed and helped many great exhibitions and private views take place in our gallery. We conducted an interview with Eva to see what she had to say about her experience at Oxford House.

I didn’t expect a lot from a gallery intern experience. I had heard many negative stories about gallery internships and how they do not usually allow interns to work directly with artists. However, I wanted to come to London because I enjoy the culture, the humour and even the way the people pour the milk into the tea. I am glad I decided to come now as Oxford House was a real positive surprise, and allowed me to work directly with artists.

I learnt much more than I had hoped; I really wanted to improve my English skills as well as seeing how the internal life of a gallery works. However I ended up learning much more – for example, I learnt how to work with many different types of people, people of different beliefs and ideas. I also learnt how diverse a community gallery such as the one in Oxford House is, in comparison to a commercial one.

I will miss the atmosphere and the people creating it. It is always good to work with people who don’t put too much pressure on you, and accept your style of work. This always helps create a friendly and calming working environment and I will definitely miss this aspect of my internship and the interaction with the people I worked with.

Dancing salsa at the reception. You get through a lot at Oxford House, from talks with artists to private views, and spotting squirrels on the outside of the office window. There was even a time I danced salsa, so picking a singular memory that stands out is almost impossible to do.

This experience will always be unforgettable to me. Oxford House was my first after-graduation work experience and it will always have a special place in my heart. I will definitely be back to visit to see other exhibitions and all my friends and work colleagues, of course!

To learn, to create, and to discover. My advice to future interns at Oxford House would be to take the tough things (which are certain to appear) head on and keep going. You are there to learn from others, and others are learning from you and your approach to tasks. This is what internships are about!

Thufayel Ahmed
Oh! Volunteer Blogger