May 3, 2018

6.15 am: I’d an ‘exercise test’ at the hospital to attend at 9.30 am. Food, tea, and physical exertion were prohibited prior to the appointment. The aim was to confirm the results of a pair of entirely normal ECG readings and a blood test, recently. It’s as well to avail oneself of all opportunities to confirm health and wellbeing. The Ego article was completed during a late nighter. This would be ‘in the post’ to the editor before I left for the my test.

A great gate. The carpenter had acquitted themselves well, yesterday:

9.10 pm: Off to the hospital – a stone’s throw away. I was wired-up like a human pedalboard in readiness for the dreaded treadmill test. It’s a great way to exercise: motion without travelling, while staring at Welsh Tourist Board poster advertising the joys of climbing Cader Idris. Running up a moderate gradient really does push the heart hard; I was inspired to develop a Penglais Hill>Campus loop for my future morning’s excursions (sans cabling):

I say it again, Bronglais Hospital is ace: friendly, helpful, knowledgeable, co-ordinated, unfazed, and courteous staff, excellent waiting times, and impressive kit. (And, I didn’t fall unconscious at the thought, on this occasion.)

10.00 am: Back home, and before a more than welcome late breakfast. 10.20 am: At my desk. The Ego article has been accepted for publication at the earliest opportunity. Job done! On with various administrations and responses: emails, confirmations, advice, notifications, commiserations, and uploads.

12.00 pm: Off to School. A quick check on progress in the studios before a lunchtime meeting at the Town Committee Chambers with Dr Forster:

It was useful to discuss the troops (undergraduates and postgraduates) before the Battle of Exhibition commences, and to objectify our thoughts about all and sundry. 2.00 pm: Following deliberations, Captain Forster took to the floor and marshalled the first year for an abstraction exercise:

My, normally, Thursday morning roster of third year painting tutorials was now mapped onto the afternoon. This is our last session of the academic year. We all felt the melancholy of impending endings and departure:

The objective of the afternoon was to ensure that my company was ready for the fight, armed with work of sufficient quality and quantity, brave and confident, and fully apprised regarding the campaign strategy. Frida’s flowers. (We remembered Ophelia):

My lower back was complaining, no doubt triggered by the morning’s exercises on the tread mill. Throughout my tutorials, I was rotating my hips, Elvis like, to mobilise my sacroiliac joints.

5.20 pm: Johnny went home. A final check of the incoming mail on his phone before dinner:

7.30 pm: Admin and dairy catchup. Emerson, Lake & Palmer’s Trilogy (1972) played in the background. This is one of the albums that kept me going through some difficult years in school. Music has always been, for me, a source of energy, hope, and joy. There’s a folder on my computer called ‘Filing’, in which I rather lazily dump documents that don’t readily fit the established categories, during the year. It needed some address, as did the clutch of un-filed folders littering my desktop. Second-gear work.

Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • The influence of other artists’ work on our own is often subconscious; it permeates our thoughts and predilections gradually and by stealth.
  • Throw wide open all your doors and windows to influence; Let it break in, steal your heart and mind, and take you captive. Any artist who is worth their salt has done the same.
  • At some point, you’re going to have to prove that you’re sufficiently motivated, confident, and resourceful to make viable art outside the womb of an educational institution.
  • We should always be making a virtue of our limitations.
  • Think about one thing for a very long time.
  • Disappointment is made all the worse when it has no interpretation, rhyme, or reason.
  • It’s often when we’ve come to the end of our ability to cope with circumstances that a break through presents itself. As in art, so in life.







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May 4, 2018