December 11, 2019

8.15 am: A communion. 8.40 am: An unusual and foreboding sky – a dark-light – covered the seaward side of the town. The day looked like it was ending even as it began. Was this a portent of an unsettled period ahead in the national psyche. I recalled how, prior to the English Civil War, many people experienced collective visions of black burning rectangles floating in the sky. They were interpreted as harbingers of turmoil to come.

9.00 am: The first of two PhD fine art tutorials at the Old College. Today was a time for reflecting upon what is and has been, rather than planning for the future. At this time in the year, few have the mental energy for projection. Back down Plas Grug Avenue towards the mothership:

11.30 pm: A final Abstraction essay consultation before honouring two outstanding MA fine art tutorials. It’s important for students to have a break at Christmas in order to acquit themselves of familial duties and give their minds and creative energies time to replenish. Constant study deadens the mind and discourages motivation. This is my advice to all my students at this time of the year.

2.00 pm: A personal tutorial. There are times when you have to give students advice as would a parent: firmly and supportively. Otherwise, they may shipwreck their studies on the rock of their own folly, bad habits, or lack of vision. 2.30 pm: The day’s third PhD fine art tutorial, held at the rear of the School, was blessed by an hour of clarity, insight, and practical determinations:

3.30 pm: A rare home visit in order to hold an off-schedule MA conversation in the student’s studio. It was a lovely environment in which to work. My return journey took me passed my home road and back to the School:

5.00 pm: I’d arranged with a friend at Holy Trinity Church to look over the sound system there. (It had been rather temperamental of late.) Part of a seaward-facing stained-glass window had blown in during a recent storm. A number of other lights had been bowing inwards for years. Once the leading gives way, the glass follows. (There’s a metaphor here.):

6.00 am: Following a hurried dinner, I returned to the School for the evening’s opening of the Creative Arts Winter Show. I saw some engaging works and good examples of the use of technology. There was a good vibe and an abundance of mince pies. Mark Williams, our Liberal Democratic candidate, graced the proceedings. It was good of him to take the time out. Tomorrow will be a stressful day for him. His career hangs in the balance every five years. That’s a tough call.

49 years ago today, King Crimson released its third studio album, Lizard. The album’s cover was designed by one of our former MA students, Gini Wade. My own take on this remarkable piece of music and design is available here.

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