8.30 am. As a rule, I endeavour to get the dreary, routine, and otherwise irksome tasks off my desk as quickly as possible at the beginning of a day. One ought to reserve one’s best energies for that time in the day when the brain is most keen, and for the more important things in life and art. 10.00 am. An informal meeting with Mr Huckin (one of our MA alumni), who showed me some if his most recent drawings. Phil has considerable facility — an artist who could have developed as a printmaker (if he had had the inclination) as much as he has as a painter and draughtsman (which he is inclined to be):
11.00 am. For the remainder of the morning I engaged postgraduate tutorials. Our lives and work are so intertwined. One can hardly talk about the one without acknowledging the other. Occasionally, a tutorial will transcend the bounds of its function and expectations and move into territories beyond the present, the physical, and temporal. In those moments, what can only be described as a minor revelation occurs: thoughts are elevated and clarified, the spirit is touched, and the soul enlivened and emboldened.
2.00 pm. Another visiting day, from which I was excused on this occasion. I occupied myself, first, in the print room, reviewing works by one of my painting students. It’s helpful to connect what a student does in one medium with their achievements in another. Ideally, the two endeavours should cross fertilise, or at least inform each other. After all, students are not Jekyll and Hyde characters — of one personality in one module and of an entirely different psychological makeup in another. They possess a creative sensibility that is able permeate both — although sometimes in rather different ways :
One of singular delights of Visiting Days: partaking of the leftover cakes and Danish pastries:
4.00 pm. The remainder of the afternoon was set apart for undergraduate art history dissertations. Discerning the structure of a dissertation is the hardest part of the endeavour. A few students can drop the topic of their writing, like a stick of rock on the hard floor, and watch it effortlessly break into sections of an appropriate length and shape. Most have to sweat blood to achieve the same end.
6.20 pm. Practice session 1. 7.20 pm. Communications from colleagues in the north of England suggest that return to Sheffield for a few days may be on the itinerary some time in the near future. A trip to London will have to wait, therefore. On with preparations for tomorrow’s Chapels in Wales class (PowerPoint at the ready), and further organisations of the Vocational Practice itinerary. The Floating Bible verses continue to upload in the background:
I ate a bowl of oat granola (which looks and tastes like wood chips) and a Farley’s Rusk (a weakness) to fortify myself for work during the ‘night watch’.