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Student story

Harriet Litten

20 July 2023

"It's a great subject for developing your own perception of the world..."


Bachelor of Arts in Art History and Theory, and History

Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Art History

Visitors Services, Christchurch Art Gallery

Currently working at the Christchurch Art Gallery while studying, Harriet already feels like she's well prepared for her future Art History career, with experience in customer service and gallery management of exhibitions and art works.

Harriet developed a keen interest in Art History from high school, and decided to continue pursuing her newfound passions with UC.

"It's a great subject for developing your own perception of the world and continuing to learn at every level, there's always more to know and more ways to think about anything," she says. "Art History also offers development of transferable skills which can be applied in many contexts. Chances are if you get involved, you'll want to stick around. I've loved every minute of it so it was a no-brainer to continue to postgrad."

She has so far earned a UC Arts Scholars Scholarship and an Ethel Rose Overton Scholarship for her results, which she attributes to the supportive community in the Art History and Theory Department.

"I had heard that the UC Art History department was high calibre. Having an amazing department is a great start, with people around you who support your exploration into your own opinions and ideas and are willing to give constructive feedback, all while having a fun time. Honours is pretty full on, but I enjoy spending time with my classmates and staff so it never feels like a chore."

As part of her honours year, Harriet also completed the PACE 495 internship course with Christchurch City Libraries.

"My role for this included assessing and restructuring an existing archive of ephemera objects (posters, invitations, exhibition catalogues) and transforming this into a usable and accessible digital list to be made available to the public when the project is completed," she says.

"It is invaluable and a great way to get some first-hand work experience. It was also a great format, the assistance from the PACE team is fantastic and you can go through the whole experience never being worried about conflict or being unsupported."

After completing her honours year, Harriet hopes to go onto master's and later PhD studies in Art History to continue researching the arts.

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