Writing about works of art can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to build up a body of knowledge from a standing start as well as link it — perhaps at the repeated behest of your tutor — to work that you’ve made. Finding a way to turn the experience of looking at something into meaningful text isn’t easy, but developing a way of clearly writing about the visual is an important skill to acquire when studying art.
To be a student is innately to find out more about a subject. To explore and investigate, to delve deeper and make connections between seemingly unrelated sources.
At OCA, our revamped mission is to introduce student-led activities to our operations and learning models. Integral to this is to give you, our students, a greater voice in decision making processes that affect you. This academic year we are introducing two new surveys that form an integral element of our academic monitoring processes; the Unit Evaluation Survey, and the Level Analysis Survey.
This is an important book for anyone who writes about art and its related disciplines. From Textile Foundations to Sustaining Your Practice as a textile student you are asked to comment on the work of others and your own creative output. This is a skill that does not necessarily come naturally, and many students struggle with it. It is therefore important to get some help. This book is different from the many “how to” writing books because it makes a strong case for knowing your subject and writing creatively about it.
At OCA all our offers are unconditional. Through our open-access policy we do not require students to have specific prior qualifications and welcome all who want to study onto our courses. This has been the case since OCA was founded, as we believe that education is a right, not a privilege, and all should have the opportunities to study.
OCA are proud to increase access to the arts, as we approach the end of our 30th anniversary year I wanted to share a few of the ways we are doing that.
We have a new mission:
“To be at the forefront of student-led creative arts education through innovative open, enhanced, & supported distance learning, for an evolving society.”
So why might it benefit you to visit a degree show? All textiles students whether studying at a distance, like you, or in a ‘bricks and mortar’ university ought to take note of their contemporaries creative outcomes.
This hangout is open to all students at all levels who wish to actively engage with their peers in the discussion of various topics/ questions and a place to seek feedback on work in progress whether in its infancy or almost complete. The experience adds an additional layer of learning, feedback and reflective practice, a valuable opportunity to gain insight into other students thoughts, ideas and working practice.
As an educator it is always delightful to sit back and absorb the ideas and knowledge of others. A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the Textile and Place Conference co organised by Manchester School of Art and the Whitworth Gallery. It proved to be two days of textile nourishment spending time with other textile types.
Knowing that distance learning can be difficult we recently reached out to you, our students, to ask the people who know best what it’s like to study with OCA and what you have found has helped you to study effectively. So many of you came back to us with great hints and tips that we’ll run a mini-series to cover all the suggestions, plus a few of our own from the staff here at OCA HQ.
Anyone interested in pictures and representing the world ought to find something here of value. As an accessible primer on those issues it’s hard to beat. Read it, go and look at some of the work discussed in it, then re-read it.
The idea of art and design as an agent for social change is vital if we relate it to contemporary debates and approaches that artists are adopting in these effervescent times.