8.15 am: Where shall I begin? It’s like jumping a deep chasm from one side to the other. Behind you is the past (your past). Before you: a future (not yet claimed, as to be yours) … but only if you can get across. (No guarantee.) It’s like knowing that you’ve reached a ‘critical juncture’, as they say. You’ve no option other than to jump – to break with the past, as much for the sake of others as your own. You may be in the air for a long time before landing (several years, perhaps) – moving forward, as though in slow motion (like in a Bill Viola video-piece). All the while you’re thinking not so much about touch down and life on the other side as the fact that no one and nothing is supporting you now. (‘You’re on your own, buddy!’)
It’s possible to leave the past behind honourably, acknowledging the good and enriching aspects even while you bemoan the folly and hurt. The past, like the future will no doubt be, is an amalgam of virtue and vice, triumph and shame, and joy and great sadness. The best and the worst of it has made you who you are. I don’t wish to either forget or deny any part. My archive of diaries (analogue and digital, private and public), box files of memorabilia, and computer folders of letters, email capture, and photographs) are the vestigial testament to a life lived. I review the contents more often than I care to disclose. What has been, has helped me to understand what is and is to come. While I live, nothing from that deposit will be erased.
9.00 am: To begin: I made some arrangements for the planned return ‘home’ (the mental and spiritual agenda for which is being added to daily), and made a start on the CD’s cover and website design. The website will include a more expansive explanation of both the project and each composition’s conceptual underpinning and construction. The back cover was the on the drawing board first:
1.30 pm: A post-lunch motivational treat:
2.00 pm: I held a clutch of MA fine art tutorials with those who’ll be exhibiting in September. The students have remarkably different challenges to face, one from another. But all are endeavouring to push hard against their prior best efforts.
In the spaces in between tutorials, I returned to the ‘Wales and the Modern Movements Revisited‘ exhibition at the School’s gallery:
Some principles and observations derived from today’s engagements:
- Letting go of the fear. Fearing to let go.
- I prefer to hear from the students a confident assertion regarding their work: ‘This is good!’, rather than a hesitant question: ‘Is this good?’
- The deadlock of intensity. It occurs when we apply ourselves to a single work, and become overwrought with anxiety because we cannot see clear to resolving it. Therefore, work on several pieces at one time.
- People will ask for an explanation of the work. They’re hungry for definitive meaning. You fulfil their appetite at your peril.
- T: ‘You look positively luminous with excitement’.
- If you give more to your teaching than you receive from it, you’ll starve eventually.
- The architecture of an exhibition space may impose upon the work resonances that are inappropriate.
- Feeling finds form, just as form may elicit feeling.
One of my tutees, who works at Nantoes Mansion, claims to have seen one of its ghosts, and experienced other inexplicable phenomena so numerous as to be considered commonplace there, and something of a nuisance. I was intrigued, and plied them with questions. [‘Try not to get distracted, John!’ This is their tutorial, remember’, the ever-present voice chided.)
5.15 pm: Homeward.
7.30 pm: I picked up where I left off with the CD cover design, and remained on that course for the evening ahead.