Ironically, as a writing student (or as a student of creative arts who needs to write), you may not find simplicity easy to attain. First drafts often result in spontaneous explosions of writing which feel very good to get down on paper, but perhaps disappoint when you read them through.
In March I went to a talk by Alec Soth at The Photography Show in Birmingham. Having visited his exhibition Gathered Leaves at the Science Museum, I was keen to hear him talk about his work process as I am currently very interested in photographers working processes on a project.
Soth spoke about his work in an open and direct way. It is clear that he has been asked questions about how he started many times and had a well prepared format to answer each section. The talk was titled ‘From here to there’, this process is fundamental to his work as he explained how one picture may lead to the next.
This a term that comes up from time to time in assessment criteria at OCA and most other art schools and has been the subject of a thread in the Student forums. The difficulty is that it is one of those phrases that is extremely difficult to explain even when one has quite a deep understanding of what it means.
As any student with experience of the OCA’s Creative Arts Today course will know, exploring how different creative disciplines interact and promote exciting points of discussion and debate is really important. Adopting an interdisciplinary approach to learning helps you to develop new (and more flexible) methods, new lines of questioning, new specialist and transferable skills, and new strategies for resolving some of the challenges that may face you in your practice.
The recent study day to the British Art Show during its Edinburgh leg seems now to me to have been all about information and the way it is shared. I met with a sterling group of engaged and interesting students. Meeting students and finding out more about why and how they study is vital for me a tutor as well as being a highly entertaining and enjoyable way to spend a day.
I have just finished speaking to a student as part of a telephone tutorial. He is at that mid point in a project and the conversation was about taking the next steps forward. There were a few points that he made in his discussion that made me confident that he had achieved clarity and a sense of direction on the project that he was working on. “It is how I see it” was his comment to me. This was a definite statement, not a proposition, not a question. “It is how I see it” – here was a moment of realisation at the point he is it currently at.
The transition to studying at a higher level is one that some students take to like the proverbial duck to water. For others, it’s more of a challenge. What often gets forgotten when we talk about transition are the changes demanded of students as they move from Level 1 to Level 2 and from Level 2 to Level 3. Following the March assessment event we contacted some students who have just completed their first unit(s) on Level 2 and Level 3. Here are their thoughts…
Here are some thoughts on how the Photography Matters symposium came to be. I think the doubts and fears, and above all the questions I have, and have had, around the medium may be familiar to many of you. Photography Matters is intended to be read two ways; matters pertaining to photography, and as a statement affirming that photography matters to us all.