February 22, 2017

Seeing is not only a gift and a facility but also a determination. One must make a conscious decision to stay visual. 8.40 pm: On my doorstep:

9.00 am: A PhD fine art tutorial kicked off the day (again) — the first of three:

Avoid majoring in minors (and ‘sweating the small stuff’). Draw types and groups of like works together. The fruitful coalition between image and text. The work, not the subject matter, should be your chief concern. Silence and whiteness. A Veronica veil: a white upon a white. Live deliberately. An exhibition that meets the needs of academia and the public. Experience, suffering, survival, and perspective. This life is the smallest part of eternity. Dealing with the aftershock. Radique. Oscillation, like a shimmering mirage. You weren’t embittered by the experience. I’m sometimes overcome by the moment. The blessing of a job that allows me to engage in discussion with so many outstanding people on a daily basis … A manner of painting that is coherent with the manner of drawing. ‘Sensory archaeology’. Painting and time. The perception of time when painting. A will that defeats the will within us. Calling the bluff on an idea by implementing it. Reality is more strange and meaningful the more closely and particularly we consider it. After a tutorial, you remember only that which was important (PhD Fine Art tutorials, notes from ‘The Black Book’ (February 22, 2017) 229–31).

10.10 am: To →

I met with one of the staff at the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (which has been relocated to the National Library of Wales). We discussed the possibility of a series of student/public orientated events, to be held in November, based upon the Commission’s archive and the theme of memory. There appeared to be a great deal of potential in the idea. My provisional title: ‘Remembering, Recording, Collecting, and Ordering’. To be continued  …

12.10: Back at the School, I presented the second of my contributions to the Professional Practice module, on the topic of digital media and its uses in promoting the young artist’s professional presence and profile:

2.05 am: (Five minutes late) I began my second PhD fine art tutorial of the day, at ‘Old Coll.’ (a name that sounds like a traditional and pungent tobacco smoked by seasoned fishermen). Carmen’s ‘skin’:

3.00 pm: The final, and necessarily extended, PhD fine art tutorial of the day. The best you can do as a teacher is to present the student with a mirror — a set of mutually determined and agreed principles, observations, opinions, and deductions that reflect who they are as creative practitioners. There are times (rare, but intensely memorable) when something arises from within the tutorial itself and beckons to both participants simultaneously. Neither has any choice other than to submit to it. In that moment, the tutor and the taught (the distinction is rendered irrelevant) become utterly transparent, open, and receptive to one another. Heart searches heart. Soul reaches soul. Mind teaches mind.

It has rained throughout the day.

6.30 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm: A bitty evening of uploading teaching material, making reply to the day’s incoming correspondence, reviewing a PhD proposal, sourcing equipment, and re-centring myself.



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