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Student Voices

Student Spotlight | Rhiannon O’Sullivan

By UALHalls 21 Mar 2024

Welcome to this month’s Student Spotlight! Featuring first year Technical Arts for Theatre and Performance (Wimbledon College of Art) student, Rhiannon O’Sullivan. 

Rhiannon lives in Furzedown and Cedar Court, choosing the location closest to her campus to ease her into London life as a first year student. Born in Trinidad and Tobago, she has found moving across the world to be a quite the culture shock but one she hopes will help her pursue her dream of making props for the entertainment industry. Rhiannon can be found on Instagram under @rhiannonosullivanprops.

a person holding an eye

How has life been since living in Halls?

Moving across the world was a massive culture shock regarding the food, weather and local customs. I moved to the UK for a better education and a chance to pursue my dream of making props for the entertainment industry in London, allowing me to make connections and find my footing in the industry.

I live in Furzedown and Cedars. I chose this hall as it was the closest to the Wimbledon campus and I liked the location, being near the tube station. I felt that this was the best decision I could've made, especially for my first year as I came to London knowing no one and now I feel as if I have had a chance to put down some roots for myself. 

 I’ve been able to make friends from all the UAL campuses and find friends on my course which has not only allowed me to network but also learn a little about other courses and how they function at UAL. Through this, I’ve been given opportunities to explore London and all it has to offer.

How did you know this course was right for you?

I originally did a 3D Foundation year at Brighton Metropolitan College in which I was able to study prop making for the first time and fell in love with bringing characters to life through many different materials and methods. I applied for this UAL course in particular as it stood out to me as it taught students a wide range of valuable skills and with all its connections, was a great opportunity to meet recruiters within the industry. I also felt the quality of work which the students were producing was outstanding and I felt I had to be a part of that.

I knew that UAL was where I wanted to be as not only is it located in London, a networking hub with endless opportunities, but UAL is a well-recognised and respectable university constantly turning out students that go directly from their course straight into the workforce. With UAL rankinng 2nd in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023 for art and design and being the top institute offering undergraduate courses it was a definite yes from me.

a clay model sitting at a table

What creative projects are you working on at the moment?

Currently, I am working with Blender for the first time. I’m learning to sculpt digitally with the intention of 3D printing the model and creating a scene for it.

I am developing a piece inspired by African tribes, specifically female tribes. I want them to be symbolic of lions which are native to Africa. I am intrigued by the idea of a female warrior or female lead tribe as I feel they are so uncommon in media. By linking the tribe to lions I hope to symbolise courage, nobility, royalty, strength, stateliness and valour, which are often reminiscent of lions. 

I find Blender a difficult but extremely rewarding medium as the sculpting in the program is very similar to real-life sculpture which I am very comfortable with.

What are you hoping to achieve in your career?

I am extremely interested in musical theatre and my dream is to design for a show in the West End. I love watching technical things happen right in front of your eyes, used to immerse the audience completely, appearing almost as if it is magic at work right in front of your eyes. 

When working, I often find myself constantly researching prop designers to draw inspiration from while in regular talks with my lecturers to discuss techniques as to how to bring my ideas to life.

During my few months in the course, I found a new interest in animatronics, which I had never tried before, I learnt how to code circuit boards to move the animatronic and brainstorm how I would build the base so that it could hold and hide all the circuitry. I hope to build on these skills in future and push the boundaries of what's possible.

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Want to know more? Get in touch: 


T: +44 (0)20 4586 3219

Instagram: UAL_HallsLife

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