What is your tutor up to? Chapter 26: Doug Burton

Balancing multiple jobs within the arts is probably the most challenging aspect of simply being a practising artist. I find that there is always a tension between juggling my programme leader and tutor role with time in the studio and personal commitments, which will no doubt resonate with many of you reading this. Over the last few years, I have done a couple of things to help me both rationalise my perspective on teaching and support my expanding sculptural practice. On the 25 of October, we saw the launch of JUICE (Journal of useful investigations in creative education) online, which I have had my paper accepted into, titled ‘Distance Learning in Creative Arts Education: understanding the benefits of time and distance in the delivery of HE at the Open College of the Arts’. As you can read in the introduction, the work I have done here is a culmination of research to better understand the mechanisms for distance, flexible, learning that I hope to both apply in the development of the Creative Arts degree and share with a broader academic audience.

My passion for a broader view of the arts stems from my work as a sculptor. A contemporary view of sculpture in the expanded field, so eloquently presented by Rosalind Krauss in 1979, still resonates today because of her engagement with art pushing beyond the confines of modern sculpture. The Royal Society of Sculptors, based in London, is a fantastic varied group that engages with both traditional and contemporary discussions on the role and position of sculpture now. Being elected a member of the society is both professional validation and also a chance to expand my network of support from peers.

Working with students in the form of workshops or exhibitions have been essential to gain a perspective on their learning and a sense of working as part of a multidisciplinary group. OCA students based in the Southwest have taken the initiative of setting up a show in Bristol in November titled ‘Osmosis’ inviting me to take part and giving me the honour of opening the show. I have written about the Southwest group in previous blog posts and encourage more groups to coalesce around the country using digital tools to connect.

Links:

Royal Society of Sculptors, At: https://sculptors.org.uk/

JUICE, At: https://juice-journal.com/

Krauss, R. (1979) ‘Sculpture in the expanded field’ In: October 8 pp.30-44.

‘Osmosis’ An exhibition by a group of OCA students and tutors based in the South West,

20-25 November 2018, 12-6pm at The Gallery Space, The Island, Bristol, BS1 2LE

Preview night 19 November, 6pm https://theislandbristol.com/

 


Also published on Medium.

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