August 26, 2015

Frail as summer’s flower we flourish;
Blows the wind, and it is gone (Henry Francis Lyte (1793–1847))

8.45 am. A somber and reflective walk in the School for a morning of MA interviews and tutorials. 9.00 am. I dispatched an MA reference before inspecting the extensive repainting that is being undertaken around the building. I doubt whether even Michelangelo had such an impressive array of scaffolding with which to paint the Sistine Chapel ceiling. It only takes a lick of paint to reinvigorate the place. The School hasn’t received so much remedial attention since it was first translated from a chemistry to an art department. Painting an art school: what a wonderfully circular concept:




10.00 am. The first of two MA interviews. A significant number of the students we attract have a commitment to place (a concept that is both broader and less defined than landscape). 11.00 am. I had an opportunity to make an inspection of current MA Fine Art activities. Sandra has it all under her thumb, as always. And, she builds her own stretchers too:


12.00 pm. The second MA interview of the day. Some principles and observations derived form this morning’s encounters:

  • our failings in our own eyes and our failings in someone else’s eyes are of an entirely different order. The former is unbearable; the latter, understandable;
  • other people’s failings are forgivable;
  • confidence is, in part, the fruit of another’s confirmation;
  • we are shaped by tragedy, cruelty, unfairness, and despair like sheet metal by a hammer;
  • art school is a home for misfits.

2.30 pm. Following a late lunch, I set up in the sound studio and recommenced filtered recordings of the Messiah record. The new tracks, made at 33 rpm and 45 rpm, deploy same techniques of equalisation as I used to construct silence in the study entitled SILENCE (2013). While the slower play recordings were being processed, I reviewed The Wounded Heart Ministries composition, which I’d begun last month:


6.30 pm. Practice session 1. 7.30 pm. On with the third lecture for the Abstraction module. It’s hard to underestimate Cézanne’s achievement and, by the same token, too easy to overestimate the achievements of Braque and Picasso. The seeds of many of Cubism’s significant innovations — multi-point views, perspectival drop, planar overlay and interpenetration, colour palette, and structural organisation — were sown in Cézanne’s late still lifes.

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