June 14, 2016

Maxims: Be true to your principles. But, first, check that your principles are true. Art and life are a false dichotomy. 

8.30 am. Mad rush! Much has to be finished, decided, set in motion, thought over, read through, consulted upon, and confirmed today. John: ‘Create a list of tasks for the morning; prioritise; assign a time limit for each item; start work’. (A downpour of rain.) Postgraduate admin is at the top of the list. 10.30 am. Off, again, to my surgery for a second course of blood tests:

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Back at homebase, I picked up the pen and continued where I’d left off, while thrashing my arms wildly to ward off the wasps of incoming emails. By noon, I’d laid to rest two major tasks.

12.30 pm. Off to church to meet the sound engineers for a discussion about the building’s ailing PA system. Ever since Bill’s funeral, a few weeks back, the output from the amplifiers has undulated: the volume fades and returns to normal, following a constant and smooth wave pattern. Neither they nor I can account for it. Presently, all we can do, as the HAL 9000 computer would recommend, is ‘put the unit back in operation and let it fail’:

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After lunch, I was back at the School to attend to late postgraduate applications and convene a Postgraduate Research Monitoring meeting to sign off on the forms. On, then, to varieties of email aimed at those whose activities touch upon my own. I had to attend to several aspects of projects in hand in readiness for my re-engagement with research in a few weeks time.

Towards the end of the afternoon, I held a tutorial with one of our finalising MA Fine Art students. The challenge of the second exhibition, which will need to be completed by the end of September, is to respond to and refine the first exhibition. As such, the second needs to be consistent with the first and also demonstrate a deepening of awareness, greater refinement, and an ability to move beyond the boundaries already established:

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Wonder of wonders! Abertillery in Gwent (my old home town and the geographical and spiritual centre of my universe) now has an art gallery:

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The Kickplate Gallery is presently hosting an exhibition by the Magnum photographer David Hurn.

In the evening, my elder son and I watched Don Cheadle’s impressive bioopic of Miles Davis’ life, Miles Ahead (2015), at the Arts Centre. Some of the incidents depicted were fiction and fantasy. To my mind this was an entirely reasonable response to a remark that Davis makes at the outset of the film: ‘If you want to tell a story. Tell it with attitude’:

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We listened, enlightened, to Davis’ music from 1973 to 1975 on our return home.

 

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