8.00 am. DIY breakfast in a house where no other guests were apparent. 8.45 am. I took the train from Aston back to Birmingham New Street, and hung around the city for an hour before travelling on to Aberystwyth. Dr Cruise was on the same train, and also working. (No rest for the academic.) I’d time to compose a brief expression of gratitude to the maestro:
En route, I caught up with email and returned to my image>sound research proposal:
1.20 pm. Home! 1.30 pm. Back at the School, I took off on a tour of duty around the MA Fine Art exhibition areas. Progress, fuelled by determination, is apace. 2.15 pm. A telephone tutorial with a PhD Fine Art student who’s based in Vancouver. 3.15 pm. An MA Fine Art consultation, as second supervisor. Individually and collectively, MA-things are shaping up professionally:
Some principles and observations derived from this afternoon’s engagements:
- It’s important to include works in the exhibition that are balanced in terms of their visual impact. A good painting that shouts too loud can too easily drown the voices of other good paintings that speak more softly.
- Aspire to independence: learn to stretch a canvas, make a stretcher, frame a painting, and cut mounts and caption boards.
- Develop a ruthless alter-ego: one who will stand back from you and your work and shoot from the hip, mercilessly.
- After success, failure. Always.
- Our success teaches us very little; failure is the great instructor.
- We will each, one day, ask: ‘Who am I?’ Then the adventure begins in earnest.
7.30 pm. I caught up (a little) on postgraduate admin, and reviewed an MA art history thesis chapter submission. In an email to another student who’s also battling with academic writing (and woe betide anyone that says it’s ever easy), I wrote:
That you recognise the limitations of the writing (and it does take time to get back into the swing of academic writing, if you’ve not be practising it) is promising. Some students stare at their output without the slightest inkling that something might be desperately wrong with it.
9.40 pm. A breather before ‘the night watch’. 10.45 pm. Petty admin. It’s as much as my brain can bear.