September 12, 2017

8.00 am: A little social mediation, followed by a mediation on an incomparably grander scale. 8.45 am: Personal administrations on the medical front, as I continue to put into place a two-year plan of physical repairs. (I felt like I was chasing my own tail.) 9.30 am: Off to town for a spot of dentalisation. All good on that front (and back), at least. And good to be in the hands of a dentist whose primary calling is their patients’ best interests:

‘We are what we eat’, we’re told. But we’re also what we read, listen to, watch on TV or in the cinema, think, say, believe, the company we keep, our attitudes to money and sex, and what we do with our free time. The concept of a life lived with integrity assumes that there’ll be consistency across the board of our enthusiasms, convictions, and actions. The task is to live self-critically, root out the anomalies, and despise the hypocrisies, but without despair.

10.00 am: Back at the School of Art, I reviewed the current Postgraduate Exhibition. It’s good to see (hear) students deploying sound so effectively. Where a work produces no sound, we should engage it in respectful and reciprocal silence:

 

On with admin until noon, when I held a discussion with an MA inquirer.

2.00 pm: Following lunch, and back at the mothership, I attended to several small and irksome admin tasks that I’d avoided too long, dispatched emails to which were appended a firm ! (in a bid to goad others into action), and set up a USS (nothing to do with Star Trek) account so that I could survey my pension options more conveniently. The end, in the end, comes towards me more swiftly than I’d ever anticipated. (‘Who knows where the time goes?’, Fairport Convention.)

3.10 pm: On, then, to the Old College to conduct two MA Fine Art tutorials. Several of the MA contingent are now ready to ship out, having completed their degree. At least one of them has left their indelible mark:

6.30 pm: Practise session (guitar work). 7.30 pm: Into the slop bucket of bitty business, comprising tasks of, variously, a personal, an ecclesial, and an academic kind. Like cleaning muddy wellington boots, it was messy job that had to be done. Tomorrow, will be dedicated to the studio. (This is my carrot.)

Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • There are some narratives to our lives that few, if any, hear, and even fewer could bear. But they are just as formative as those which we tell.
  • The soul shrinks for want of intimacy.
  • A little encouragement goes a long, long way.
  • Age is no obstacle to art.
  • No one, least of all you, can know your potential to develop as an artist. Potential is not a fixed capacity. It may be enlarged over time by: the exercise of determination, hard work, endurance, and confidence; the nurture of solid instruction; the encouragement of peers; and the experience of improvement. Likewise, potential may be diminished by the absence of these things.
  • Intuition may be a mode of thought that operates below the level of cognition and verbalisation, able to process complexities of information, possibilities, and motivations extremely quickly, and to offer a conviction in the form of a feeling.
  • Intuitions are susceptible to rationale scrutiny.
  • If you really cannot decide between two complementary ways of working, then don’t. Like parallel lines, they’ll eventually appear to converge at the same vanishing point on your horizon.
  • Someone comes out of the blue and speaks with you like you’ve known one another forever. It can happen.

 

 

 

 

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