May 19, 2016

8.15 am. An administrative dust and tidy opened the day. At the School, I readied myself for a morning of MA Exhibition assessments. It was heartening to see Dr Pierse in the building again. (We’d be reviewing work by a number of his students.) He, Dr Forster, and I were a Cerebus. Although there was no barking, biting, and fighting on this occasion:

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Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • There’s a world of difference between being focussed and remaining at a standstill.
  • The quality of the work betrays the integrity of the work ethic.
  • Clarity and discipline of thought, and the ability to rationate and delimit a field of action, contribute significantly to the success of an artist’s practice.
  • Find yourself; find the way. The reverse is also true.
  • Make a virtue of your limitations. Often, what we cannot do is irrelevant to us. Which may be one reason why we can’t do it.
  • The practice of art is a capital investment that’s given to us on trust. We must return it with interest.

After lunch, I held an MA inquirer’s discussion with a prospective applicant. One should never try to persuade an inquirer to apply to this School at all costs. Rather, the interviewer should have their best interests at heart. This may be right place for them to study. But it may not. On this, both parties must agree. Often, I’m struck by how the circumstances of the applicant’s life and the affairs of their heart appear to have converged upon this moment, this discussion, here. In this room, the course of some people’s future has been either changed or set:

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And this, not of my doing. It’s a motion of the student’s spirit — a realisation that takes place as they listen to their testimony about themselves and the work that they’ve made. Afterwards, I wrote up the essence of the morning’s exchanges, and undertook exam admin correspondence. We’re moving towards a climax.

Evening. Less a gear change than a vehicle swap: Holy Trinity Church Committee, and a very different set of priorities and orientations:

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