Everyone has a story…
It is the concluding entry into Verse’s Humans of UniSA segment in 2021 and On the Record have contributed a final three individuals to the ranks of amazing talent they have garnered over the year. OTR’s reporters have endlessly shown their commitment and passion in bringing the most hidden, distinct and intricate voices to print in this year’s magazine issues. The people we have managed to document in this slice-of-life article series have continued to provide riveting insight into how just the everyday person you pass on the way to class is involved in a whole wonderful world separate to your own. If anything, this tapestry of students will continue on in Verse as the perfect snapshot of how diverse our cohort is in this day and age, from passionate artists to curious physios to headstrong journalists.
Natalie Bellardino |@nataliesart__
Bachelor of Contemporary Arts
Interviewer: Ashleigh Buck | @ashkbuck
What has been the highlight of your degree so far?
Learning analogue black and white photography has been such an insightful and exciting experience within my degree thus far. Learning from scratch how to navigate and take images on a film camera, then develop, scan, and print them manually (using the facilities that most are unavailable elsewhere) has been great. It makes you appreciate the craft in a whole different light (pun intended).
Meeting like-minded individuals who appreciate the arts as much as you do is wonderful too. Art literally can be created from whatever and by whoever. Being able to see everyone’s different visual styles, perspectives and artworks are exciting. It makes university worthwhile. Especially in the art community, it is valuable to meet people who share a similar passion as you.
As an artist, what would you say is your biggest inspiration? How do you incorporate this into your pieces?
Recently, my biggest inspiration for my art is pinpointing what I am genuinely interested in and then, therefore, creating work that is both intuitive and evaluative. There’s sometimes an absence of appreciation when considering how much time, skill and technical application that comes with creating art. I try to highlight certain aspects, like shadow, tone, light, and dimension, to further celebrate these qualities while incorporating subject matter that overall is inspired by the world around me.
You do commission work for the public; how did you get into this? What do you enjoy most about creating work for friends and family?
Yes, I do! It was so unexpected! It all started last year through COVID when I decided to create an Instagram page sharing my art publicly. I was out of my comfort zone when I first began posting, but I kept it as honest and real as I could. I started sharing my past works done from high school and experiments from university, manifesting my account as a digital journal of some sort.
It wasn’t until Mother’s Day where I created a gift for my mum of our two precious dogs. As black and white portraits, one of each dog, I posted the framed pieces to my Instagram. From there, I attracted friends and family wanting similar portraits in this style. Whether it be of a dog, cat, family, friends, or a baby portrait, gradually my followers, close contacts and community were wanting a custom portrait for themselves. From large to small scale, colour to black and white, paint to pencil, my commissions ranged to what best suited them. These are all posted on my Instagram.
“Art literally can be created from whatever and by whoever…”
I am so blessed to have this opportunity to create custom art for people. All in all, my main priority is that they are happy, and that’s honestly the thing that I enjoy the most about sharing my work. Not only can I create sentimental and personal pieces, but additionally use my skills to capture exactly what they want.
What do you hope to achieve career-wise through your degree?
Inside the arts, there are so many opportunities that come where you can be involved. I guess for me it’s to be involved in those activities, chances and events and build connections with other artists and professionals to further strengthen my standing as an artist. This degree has challenged and pushed me creatively every day, in hopes to strengthen my practice and conceptual ideas. Career-wise, I hope these can be clearly articulated inside my work. I am open to exploring new fields that allow me to employ my artistic perspective.
To aspiring artists out there, what would be one piece of advice you would give them?
The best piece of advice I can give to others is to not be afraid to share your work with people, both digitally and in person. You never know who it might inspire.
Isabelle Higgins | @is_higgins
Bachelor of Physiotherapy (Honours)
Interviewer: Clem Stanley | @ClemStanley2
Tell me a bit about your degree and why you study it?
I thought it would be something that I’d be quite good at and enjoy. I love movement and the human body. It’s also really relevant to my life and my passions. I just really enjoy it and it has a lot of different avenues and areas to go down.
I hear you are a pretty good rower. What can you tell me about that?
I have been rowing for nine years and started when I was at school back in Tasmania. Since then, I have made a few state teams, won a national title at the start of this year, and got a third-place medal in the quad (four-person per boat). I love it; it has good vibes.
I have never been rowing before; how would you convince me to give it a go?
It’s really good socially. If you have a good club, it’s good fun. Just being out on the water is so fun. Going fast is also exciting. Rowing is a way to challenge and discipline yourself. It’s very good for fitness and teamwork, but you can also work on yourself a lot. Rowing is something a bit different that not a lot of people do. Racing is full of so much adrenaline and good vibes. When you win, it’s an amazing feeling. It makes me feel strong.
Have you looked at rowing differently since studying physio?
I have a bit in how I look after myself, and my training. I have definitely taken care of myself more seriously. I also think of rowing from a more biomechanical perspective now too, such as how your muscles and forces propel a boat, as well as different aspects of the rowing motion. All the physio I have had done in the past makes sense to me and how it’s actually helping.
If you weren’t rowing or studying physio, what do you think you would be doing?
I would definitely be at uni still, but probably back in Tassie. Maybe another type of allied health; I think that field is definitely my area. Maybe nursing, I thought about that the other day; I would quite like to be a nurse. Or maybe medical imaging. I almost did a medical radiation course in Tassie. I also almost did Law, but I can’t see myself as a lawyer nowadays.
“Rowing is a way to challenge and discipline yourself. It’s very good for fitness and teamwork, but you can also work on yourself a lot…”
You are someone who has relocated interstate to study. How did you find that experience? What is it like being in South Australia versus Tasmania?
It was really scary because I had no friends or family in Adelaide. I moved into a residential college which was good for settling in and making friends. I love Adelaide, it’s bigger than Hobart, but still not that big, which makes it easy to navigate. Also, the physio degree at UniSA is one of the best in the country, so that was a good reason to come. I found that it’s helped me challenge myself and gain independence, which made me grow up and mature quite a lot. I have settled in, and I really love Adelaide. I definitely think I made the right decision. I do miss Tassie, though.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully working as a physio, but I don’t know what area yet. I do quite like hospital work, like the acute care field. I can definitely see myself working quite closely with people for a long period of time. How old will I be in 10 years… 30? Geez! Probably not rowing anymore, but still involved somehow. Possibly coaching, or maybe a rowing physio? Most likely, I’ll have moved to another state and hopefully be set up and working. I don’t know though, we’ll just let nature take its course!
Jessica Dempster | @jessica_dempster
Interviewer: Ashleigh Buck | @ashkbuck
Tell me a bit about your degree and why you chose to study it?
I thought about teaching for a long time, specifically English, and that led me to a Bachelor of Arts. Through reading about that, I discovered this double degree with journalism. I had never considered a career in journalism, but as I read more about it, attended the university Open Days, and spoke to some UniSA representatives, I realised it was something I wanted to try. The course embodies a lot of the subjects and skills I enjoyed and excelled at in high school such as writing, research and communication. While it has its challenges, completing the work is a lot easier when it’s something you enjoy.
What has been the highlight of your degree so far?
The highlight of my degree has been the number of opportunities I’ve had. These have allowed me to gain experience in the industry both through my studies and extracurriculars. Over the January holidays, I wrote a story for UniSA’s publication On the Record about a bushfire that happened back home in Naracoorte. It gave me a good opportunity to utilise the skills I had learnt throughout my first year and it helped me realise my passion for sharing rural and regional news. The other highlight would be creating and producing the radio show I do with my two friends, Ally and Millie, called Goodness Me that airs on UniCast.
Moving from a country town to a big city would be hard, how did you handle this? What made it easier to settle in?
I was worried before I did it, but the actual move wasn’t as hard as I expected it to be. It had its challenges. My living situation last year wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, and I struggled (as a lot of people living out of home for the first time do) with learning how to balance my finances. I missed my family and my life back home and the city was at first a lonely and scary place. What made the move easier for me was forcing myself to go beyond my comfort zone. I refused to let my fear of city driving and public transport keep me in my small apartment and soon found navigating Adelaide wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought.
“What made the move easier for me was forcing myself to go beyond my comfort zone…”
The main thing I did to help myself cope with the anxiety and uncertainty that comes with moving away from your hometown was to keep myself busy by throwing myself into my studies and a new life up in Adelaide.
What do you hope to achieve through your degree?
My current aspirations for after uni are a little up in the air as I still have two years to go and am trying to keep an open mind about what my options are since the journalism industry is quite competitive. Now I’m hoping for either a career in radio or maybe moving back to the country where I can hopefully contribute to the preservation of rural and regional news.
To anyone else who may consider moving to study, what would be your advice to them?
My biggest piece of advice would be to just give it a go. I have so many amazing opportunities, accomplishments, and people in my life that never would have been a part of it if I hadn’t moved. I would also like to stress the importance of looking after yourself mentally and physically as well. When you are living out of home for the first time it can become easy to fall into a trap of just trying to get through the day and often that involves maybe not exercising or eating enough or doing extra things with family, friends, or even by yourself that make you happy. It’s important to make sure you are enjoying and living life, not just getting through it.