January 11, 2016

David Bowie was one of us — a former art student, and an artist whose creative energies could not be contained within the boundaries of any one discipline. His painting, acting, fashion, writing, and composing, either singularly or in combination, were evidence of a creative genius (and the epithet is unquestionably deserved in his case) whose relentless talent and capacity for original vision was in excess. To my mind, he contributed far more to the history of rock and pop than the Beatles ever did. His music was fine art. The ‘Berlin trilogy’ (1976-9) especially, on which Brian Eno (another former art student and musician) collaborated, shaped my musical landscape with the force of an earthquake. Eno’s heartfelt sentiments on Twitter were surprising, coming from someone who wears the badge of ‘evangelical atheist’ so proudly. To know peace and rest, the deceased must experience a measure of postmortem consciousness … an afterlife. Perhaps the concept of eternal oblivion is too much to bear — to believe — when it implies the complete cessation of those whom we love and respect, whose vitality and presence in this life was so profound:

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9.00 am. I held a rescheduled Year Tutor meeting before attending the day’s second year feedback tutorials, along with Mr Webster and several of our MA Fine Art students, who were attending as part of their teaching-experience on the Vocational Practice module. Some principles and observations:

  • Face up to what you cannot do and avoid doing. These are your priorities.
  • Your future subject matter is currently waiting at your elbow.
  • Why are the little works, made on the margins of our operations, often among our best?
  • Virtues are harder won than skills.
  • Add to your paint box: perseverance, fortitude, stamina, and bananas.
  • Reckon on it: one day you may achieve more than some of those artists who presently influence you.
  • Choose heroes worthy of you.

12.20 pm. I made a foray into town to buy new light bulbs for my studio desk lamps. No doubt the town decorations will be taken down before the summer holidaymakers return:

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1.40 pm. An afternoon filling out feedback forms, and essentialising the outcomes and recommendations of the morning’s discussions. 4.45pm. I responded to email requests for assistance. My prospective working life is getting busier.

6.30 pm. Practice session 1. 7.30 pm. Back to the first section of Image and Inscription. I’d deliberately withdrawn from the project for a period in order to give myself a fresh perspective on my return. Sometimes time makes all the difference. My immediate response was that the piece needed to be shortended in order for the incidents to ebb and flow and follow on from one another more swiftly. The dynamics of the tracks were also enhanced:

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9.30 pm. Practice session 2.

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