Fiona Finchett

Fiona Finchett


It all started when…

It was around a year ago, questions were raised between me and my pals as to where we could find out about current exhibitions. It was all well and good knowing the large galleries and keeping up to date with their showings in a newsletter. However, what about those held at lesser known venues or the more quirky happenings.

At Manchester School of Art, the walls are covered in posters advising this, that, and the other. In and amongst them, advertisements for students and lecturers exhibitions can be found. Yet, with the location of the posters, it can be presumed that the crowd attending is fairly restricted.

We approached student led magazines to publish articles interviewing those who had curated an exhibition. Yet, this didn’t feel satisfactory, so we left it at that.

It was in recent months I had the idea to create a festival which celebrated procrastination for creatives - though

instead I quickly found myself procrastinating and recognised that it was never going to happen. I also had the realisation that procrastination for a creative was inevitable and something we should probably enjoy a little more. With no solid project to work on, I found myself visiting more and more exhibitions - it was there I gathered most inspiration and creative impulses.

I had great wonder in what other creatives were doing in their ‘free’ time - that is if they had any at all. How many were working hard at personal projects, only for them to go un-recognised. And in a similar fashion, the student’s who put their all into project work that manages to disappear in the dust once assessed. Yet, the amount of times I hear students say ‘I’m scared’, ‘my works not good enough’… or even those in industry with no sense of confidence in the work they produce - its no wonder. I suddenly had the desire to aid emerging designers and artists in showcasing their work early on when their ideas have the biggest of freedoms. I myself have taken the strongest grasp at every single opportunity given to me - however it took some extra searching to find those closely related to my interests. Now I have experienced a handful of different lucky chances, a connected network of work has begun flooding my way. So I suppose, you just have to be brave enough to take those first steps. Oh, and share everything you do, let people know you are proactive and willing to engage and explore.

With the aim to to give those studying a platform to shout about their work, or at least allow someone to do it for them, Ditto was born. The utter geniuses that emerging creatives are becoming is quite extraordinary. The ideas and concepts that stand a strong foundation in their projects and the opinions they have on pressing issues within the creative community are things that shouldn’t be going amiss. Ihave begun this journey in Manchester at The School of Art, but hope to see mindsets change across other cities and institutions.

I have always been terribly ambitious, pushing myself far too far at times. I’ve also made numerous publications in the past for small projects, but nothing can equate to the shear size of this one. So here it is, issue one of Ditto. I hope it is a hit, because I cannot wait to get my hands on the next one. And just a cheeky comment on what to expect in the future for Ditto, there is (written in pencil) plans, come Autumn to begin a bi-monthly exhibition spot at PLANT, NOMA. 

Also, side-note, for those of you who do not know, I am still in my third year studying Graphic Design at Manchester School of Art - I guess the secret is out. However, this is another solid reason as to why this magazine should be published. There should be no stereotype or pre-judgement for the label of a student, because some of us are going above and beyond these ridiculous expectations.