On a very busy Saturday in Cambridge five students and I visited several locations to see work in a variety of contexts.
The second meeting of the OCA north group met recently in Newcastle. There were some familiar faces from the inaugural Leeds meeting and plenty of new ones. The meeting began with an open discussion around the function and design of the group, with some different views raised this time than in the previous meeting so perhaps these kinds of groups need to evolve over time as the nature of the group itself evolves.
For anyone thinking about setting up similar opportunities, I would say go for it as there is a lot of support available. As well as working with an artist and developing sketchbook work everyone was pleased to be able to get together with other OCA students to talk, work and learn with each other. Everyone left wanting to do another workshop!
This study day has helped me to forge a different relationship with the landscape viewing it as place enables me to discuss or form my own relationship with that place rather than an exact physical depiction. I enjoyed using my own memories; nightclubs, brightness, misty dark mountains, land…
Students attending were taking OCA units in various disciplines across photography, drawing and creative writing at all levels. There was interest to share ideas and approaches across disciplines and it felt there was common ground in our various connections to nature, ecology, landscape, gardening, geology and the outdoors.
The multi‐disciplinary aspect of the group was a great catalyst for different ways of thinking about a subject in this case the wildness of urban spaces, and was found very useful by many of the OCA participants.
The 2018 MA Textiles summer show at the Royal College of Art was a heady mix of product, experimentation and conceptual thinking. Having curated the show I took the opportunity to invite OCA students to view the work. The aim was to discuss the diversity in order to question the definition of the term ‘textiles’. 15 OCA students attended on a sunny summer Sunday to explore the galleries before meeting for a very lively discussion.
When the OCA tutor’s twins came down with chicken pox, a planned study visit to Glasgow International looked to be inevitably cancelled as cover at short notice was difficult to arrange. The visit went ahead however, with the 4 OCA students from different disciplines meeting up independently.
At the end of April twelve students from seven different countries and two OCA bodies met in Copenhagen for a weekend to look at art and make connections.
The New Music Collective met at Iklectik in London on 17 March, for a study day based on collaboration. A month before the event, the students were asked to work in pairs to produce new work to be presented on the day. Each student had to take part in the project both as a performer and composer, but they were able to choose how whether to write together or separately.
Our practical session was centred on ideas generation and how to generate multiple visual experiments from a single starting point. Taking a crumpled piece of A4 paper as our subject, we first drew its form, then experimented with scale and composition.
I began the morning asking students what they thought drawing could be beyond the traditional skills they might have learnt. Some keywords emerged that acted as a guide for the exercises, including drawing as invention, play, process, action, memory, language, non-art, materials and generative.