Yesterday. In the evening, staff gathered at Professor Meyrick’s home to celebrate Dr Pierse’s retirement, after 24 years of service to the School, with speeches, good will, and a parting gift:
8.00 am: On, then, to Le Figaro’s for the staff Christmas dinner, waited upon by one of our third year students, among others. What a fine bunch of colleagues!:
Today. 8.45 am: The Promenade:
9.00 am: The beginning of the final MA Fine Art tutorials of the semester. Some of the students will be assessed in January; so, the period from now until then will be crucial for them — a period for consolidation, rather than resolution, for comprehension rather than decision (necessarily). The arc of development for the part timers is by no means leisurely; they’ve more time to enjoy the view en route, that’s all, Intentional (above)/Non-intentional (below) painting:
11.30 am: I returned to the School to deliver a trio of second year painting tutorials and cram in some preparations for a postgraduate meeting on campus this afternoon.
1.40 pm: Up the tarmac hill to the campus to join the committee. I was drawn to red (Caradoc Road):
I was drawn to red (Penglais Hill):
2.00 pm: The postgraduate teaching and research committee: anachronisms, acronyms, acrimony, advocacy, and AQRO. The committee comprised a sensible, honest, and straight-speaking bunch of hard-working academics who have to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous bureaucracy. You cannot run education as a business! You just can’t!:
4.10 pm: Down the hill and back to School …
… to my final appointment — a PhD Fine Art tutorial with one of our finalising students. A magnificent end to the afternoon: vitalising, enriching, challenging, and potent.
7.30 pm: I returned to my Advent composition, which I’ll deliver at Holy Trinity Church on Friday lunchtime: a reflection on Matthew chapter 2, verses 1 to 12.
Some observations and principles derived from today’s encounters:
- ‘Contained euphoria’; ‘happy melancholia’: states of mind that lie between states of mind.
- At times, the process will determine the subject of the artwork; at other times, the subject will determine the process.
- Any degree of pre-visualisation of an artwork’s outcome will constrain its natural, intrinsic, and organic development to that degree.
- Leave your bad moods and legitimate grievances at the door of the committee room. Be open. Be hopeful. Be constructive. Be supportive.