Ba Fine Art – Multidisciplinary course seemingly focussing more on the idea than the medium – an opportunity to delve into all manner of ways of making work whilst interrogating interests and contexts, the criticality of these two being the essence of the experience.
I suppose this is where the ‘degrees unedited’ blog ends. I imagine I will continue on through the ‘artists talking’ bit, could well be an intriguing way of thinking through work and discussing the complications and (hopefully) joys of ongoing practice and the setting up of studios and artist led space.
We are beginning to develop a vision for the future in Nottingham, to set up an umbrella name and studios under which al manner of transient shows and events happen. There is a fantastic mix of installation, moving image and performance work happening within our graduating year and I’m sure that within those disciplines and collaboration exciting things will happen, with eyes looking towards the British Art Show opening here next year. The dream is to build a profile and work with the other groups to host a sideshow running alongside the main event to show the incredible depth of what is happening in the city. Exciting times.
We graduated yesterday, caps and gowns all round. It’s a surreal experience, walking on stage to shake the Deans hand, making our acheivements official. It finally struck me just what I have acheived, a good degree from a good institution. As much as I think the Fine Art course often feels like its own entity within the school, the pride I felt of my fellow graduees and of being part of what appears to be such a forward looking institution was great, and the realisation that this part of life and career will now give way to the bigger picture of working independantly in the wider world was exciting rather than intimidating.
The day-to-day reality might be slightly different, looking for opportunities alongside the necessary job hunt, the need for flexible employment that doesn’t devour all of my time and energy and the need to find new inspiration and ideas (although I do recognise the need for a break). I don’t know if the modern world is drastically different from the past, or if I am too fond of security and cleanliness to pursue the romantic idea of living on little from day to day. Are we conditioned now to expect to be able to live well whilst working, to live in comfort, to afford heating and good food and to have social lives and technology? Is it this need which requires me to work rather than find a squat and struggle making ends meet so I can devote my life to artwork?
Keeping going. Looking forward. Beginning to appreciate the credit crunch.
Results came yesterday, and I am incredibly proud of my year, if a little dissapointed myself. I wonder how much better I could have done if I didn’t take on the catalogue, or rather if it hadn’t become so time consuming as we were let down by companies and realised we just didn’t understand how to use the software. Those two extra days I spent re-doing things at a time I had set aside to crack my portfolio now seem incredibly detrimental.
Went to see some studio space this morning, its not ideal but it may have to do, just beginning to realise how much space we may need and the relative cost. Today’s viewing includes access to workshops and no hidden costs, which I’m sure we will encounter as we look more independantly. Made me wonder if I really need a studio space though, and if I can really afford one.
Queue at the Job Centre anyone?
This is limbo.
I’m all done, show taken down, and as much as a few days off are welcome, the prospect of tidying my degree-scarred bedroom and working out what is next isn’t the most exciting prospect. Should I sign on? I’ll need to, in the absence of having found a job. It’s back to that I suppose.
In the meantime, its all about turning the mind back to ideas so I can write some proposals and applications for shows and resisencies. This is how it will be from now on I suppose.
I’m trying to not question whether or not the degree was really worth it, I know that will raise its head time and time again, and although the debt has mounted the experience was fantastic.
I read with amazement and some worry the numerous reviews of our degree show on a-n. Many are negative in some way, and few are balanced. It is the result of the first years being encouraged to put their reviews up, and as much as I admire those who take a firm stance and say what they think, it shows how much your ability to be balanced and critical whilst removing description and awkward comments can develop over the course of this degree. It worries me that some of these might damage our show and those in the future, that this request by the tutors may shoot them in the foot…..
Otherwise, I’ve been selected alongside a few others to have my work shown alngside Mark Titchner in the bar at Broadway cinema here in Nottingham. That is all good.
I write with 20 and a half hours to go. Four O'Clock tomorrow sees the big deadline, the cutoff, the end of being a working student.
I'm ready, providing the Blu-Ray disc has burnt overnight, and that I finish the last small part of the research portfolio. Hit a good vibe last night and worked through till 4 am for some reason, but it got it done so I'm not complaining. Leaves me tomorrow to do all the little bits, tape down cables and make sure everything is just right. Then the pub, I think.
It's all quite sad actually, the end of three years of hard work, wishing I was working harder, mixed emotions and the highs and lows which come from being in such an intense environment, pouring out your soul as you try to discover what it is you are interested in and how to make that interesting to someone else.
I've always found, in life, that it takes a few years to really work out what you learnt. I know my understanding and knowledge of art has been transformed, that my confidence has been raised and that my ability to communicate has grown. I've discovered philosophy, looked at theology from a different viewpoint and begun to develop an ability to be critical of things. Practical skills have been developed, from handling paint to capturing and editing video, a knowledge of software and hardware.
This is starting to sound like one of those academic evaluations.
Then I wonder what has been more important, the practical and 'art' skils and knowledge or the experience. Letting loose, discovering new things outside of the studio, the exchange of influences and ideas; music, books, film and food. I've loved, lost and loved again and learnt to deal with the best and worst of situations surrounded by the most diverse crowd of people I've ever known.
Thats far more sentimental, I'd like to say I'm not normally like that, but I have a terrible penchant for it.
So, amongst all the work and life skills, what has been the most important, and the most prevalent. I think there are two. One is the ability to live, work and get on with people. That's pretty key. The other is the ability to bullshit. You can decide if thats a good thing.
It's easy to look back and wish. Wish I'd started things sooner, wish I'd thought things through, wish I'd had that idea then, wish I'd got it right first time, but then this wouldn't be half as interesting.
The first years are kindly providing a countdown to hand in via the large red letters which hang in the studio. 'Five days to go' it read today. Five days to finish five more pages of research, to write an overview of tutorials and to ensure the blu-ray kit works properly. Seems there is still so much to do.The new voiceovers are not quite good enough, plus I've run out of time to edit and put them onto the video, never mind record them again. Might happen though.
Having said that, its also nice to look at the positive. I'm more than confident in my writing, and the greater proportion is done. The screen is built and looks good (although we will only know for sure when we have projected onto it tomorrow), the PA is in, we have (finally) got our hands on blu-ray discs and have burnt the first for testing.
I have to admit it is nice to not have the responsibility of installing bigger work, the beamer room where the showreel will be has been relatively simple, so much so that my first and second year helpers have been passed on to others more in need. It has been more of a battle with technology and the showreel still needs to be made, however this is far simpler.
The catalogue still is not resolved. The printers keep coming back and asking for fonts and files which I have no idea what they are. Discovered the 'package' function on InDesign this week, would have been nice to know about that before, would have saved a day's panic (and we did ask what we needed to do with the files). Still, I keep faith and look forward to holding it in my hands.
It is not yet the time for reflection though. It is still time to look forward and tackle the tasks head on, somehow, and rediscover that elusive motivation, although this is mostly for the re-presentation of work, I'm still perturbed as to how I will fit a years work and research onto 10 pages of A4.
But then this is what I signed up for. And I'm gonna bloody do the darned best I can. And then get back to writing proposals.
Show in Brighton has, by all reports, gone very well. 96 through the door in two days. Good times.
Hope all is going swimmingly. x