November 22, 2016

8.30 pm: Off to School. Every morning I must refocus, reaffirm compacts (divine and otherwise), take a firm and knowing grip on principal, distrust feelings, and determine to discover the good that there’s to do, duties to discharge, and fruit to harvest. 9.00 am: Perfunctory adminy stuff:


9.30 am: The first of the day’s MA fine art tutorials. Words and their reciprocations that kept coming up: empirical, scale/size, complexity/clarity, integrity/credibility, recognition/validation, disappointment/frustration, distillation/focus.

Dr Pierse has taken retirement. His room is, now, like an empty shell, a cell, and an office reminiscent of the Cabinet War Rooms. Simon and I began our tour of duty at the School in the same year:


11.10 am: Vocational Practice. We discussed the problematic of professionalism in the visual arts. 12.30 pm: An undergraduate dissertation tutorial. (Quick lunch.) 1.15 pm: A further MA Fine Art tutorial. It’s like hurtling from one planetary system to another. A cancellation in the early afternoon opened up time for more perfunctory adminy stuff and a brief encounter with one of my second year painters. 3.00 pm: A PhD fine art tutorial, in my capacity as degree co-ordinator, with one of Ms Whall’s tutees. I enjoy talking about film.

A broken branch hangs precariously over the roof of the Common Room (now temporarily closed), having been partially sheared by last Thursday’s tempest:


4.30 pm: A final MA Fine Art tutorial with one of Dr Webster’s charge.

6.30 pm: Practise session 1. 7.30 pm: Back to research declaration forms (aka ‘more perfunctory adminy stuff’).

Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:

  • When we begin life, we don’t where it will lead or why it was given to us. Thus, too, with art, we venture upon it unknowingly.
  • Art seems to assume greater importance, day by the day, at this juncture in human history.
  • Written to one of our illustrious alumni: ‘The MA was only a container; you were the contents’. Their success was of their own making, in other words.
  • Don’t do what you cannot, with a good conscience and a sound mind, countenance.
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