September 26, 2014

8.30 am. I broadcast emails like the parabolic ‘sower’, hoping that some of my ‘seeds’ will land on fertile soil. Afterwards, I updated the postgraduate curriculum. At the School, the secretaries and the ILLCA Manager were in conference; software and database glitches persist, which are postponing the completion of postgraduate registration. Meanwhile, a colleague and I walked to the Old College, taking in the promenade, to allocate spaces for the second and third year painters principally:

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I doubt whether there is another art school in Britain that has such a view from its studio windows. The Irish Sea’s tide breaks upon the shoreline at the frequency of Brown noise, which is named after the Botanist Robert Brown (rather than the colour), who also observed the phenomenon of Brownian motion:

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Back at the ranch, I returned to ‘sowing’ — disseminating emails to staff and students regarding what had been undertaken at the Old College. Fine Art students can be a rather messy bunch. This reflects both their age (rather more than their subject predilection) and state of mind. Discipline begins as an inward order that progressively works its way outwards to the immediate context and beyond. Unfortunately, the principle doesn’t work in reverse. Otherwise, I’d devote my time to tidying up their work spaces in the hope that their minds might be made more orderly as a consequence.

After lunch, we paired up as staff to mark the MA exhibition. All the candidates I encountered acquitted themselves well. Moreover, my colleagues and I was able to talk to them about issues and challenges associated with a high level of professionalism. We teach our students to talk the talk well. But their work walks the walk with integrity too. The final viva is as much a farewell as a critique. We’ll miss them all. They’ve made such a contribution to the School’s ethos.

7.30 pm: The MA cohort faced the public, who appeared to be suitably impressed. There was a good turnout from the student body, former graduates, and our supportive friends. Nothing sells as department better than its best students. And an art school is only as good as its output:

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10.30 pm. ‘The Night Watch’. I settle to write up the feedback forms related to this afternoon’s MA vivas.

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