A day in the life of a BPhil student - Zoë

10 Sep 2020 | 3 mins

Hi, my name is Zoë, and I’m a Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours) student, majoring in Physics and Fine Arts.

I’m in my final semester of third year with just my honours year to go. The BPhil (Hons) is a research-based program that allows you to take any major/s. You get the opportunity to undertake a research placement and an overseas study program. 

I have always been interested in how things work, and physics gives you explanations at the most fundamental level. The physics that contradicts the way we expect the world to work is the most interesting. Something like special relativity, that you can’t quite comprehend, is the most exciting place to be right now.

"Being comfortable in that tension of the unknowable is exactly the same in art. I suppose I just like any opportunity to think about the world. I’m lucky the Bachelor of Philosophy allowed me to do everything I loved in one course."

One of the best things about the Bachelor of Philosophy is the opportunity to study overseas. In Semester 2 of 2019 I studied at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. I got to meet so many amazing people and try subjects and approaches that otherwise would not be available in Perth.

UWA Fine Arts student Zoe taking a selfie at a gallery, surrounded by silver balls and mirrors
Me inside Yayoi Kusama’s ‘INFINITY MIRRORED ROOM - LET'S SURVIVE FOREVER’ at the Art Gallery of Ontario

My typical day

AM

First thing in the morning, I am usually heading off to class, either to an art studio or a physics lab. Both of these are at least three hours long, so it’s important to pack snacks! You can usually catch me doing my reading for my first class on the bus.

Both art and physics are quite collaborative subjects. You make friends very quickly doing a lab together or developing a collaborative exhibition.

Fine Arts student Zoe with friends in UWA's Cullity Gallery
Our recent exhibition ‘Confession’ at Cullity Gallery (I’m second from the left)

Lunch

Lunch usually means trekking between campuses (about a 10-minute walk). Then I will get prepared for my next class and, of course, eat some food.

PM

In the afternoon I have more classes before going back home. I often have to cart artwork from home to uni and back, which can be awkward on the bus. After I get home, I catch up on physics lectures and then work on other assignments. 

After dark

Sometimes I head back to the studio at night to work on a piece. It’s nice to have a studio space and 24/7 building access now I’m in my final semester. Physics, luckily, does not require as many materials and space to study. 

Paintings on an easel and desk
My studio corner at ALVA (the Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Visual Arts building)

Extra-curricular

Apart from uni work my week consists of netball, dungeons and dragons and the occasional waitressing shift. If I have some free time, I try to get out to galleries and get some inspiration.

Right now I am in the middle of launching a science/art collective with my best friend called Snart Club. We run workshops and gallery events. You can find us on Instagram!

UWA Physics and Fine Arts student Zoe with her 'Snart Club'

Snart Club learning about the science of bees

You can also see some of my work at zoesydney.com.

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