March 20, 2019

6.15 am: Awake. 7.30 am: A communion. 8.00 am: An idea. A Bible that can ‘speak’ all the words within it. ‘Interrogate the idea, John!’:

8.30 am: It takes me 7 minutes to walk to my office door at the School. And at the this time of the year, I’ve reason to pause often. There’re moments of wonder and consolation:

9.10 am: The artist Claire Rose (one of our alumni) talked to the second-year painters about her work at the workshop. It’s always encouraging to hear about success, and what it takes to secure it, straight from the horse’s mouth, as it were. Claire has been disciplined and determined from the outset of her training. Her capacity for rigorous self-criticism and sheer hard work has enabled her to reap a significant return on the investment of her capital (that is to say, her innate abilities of perception, enthusiasm, and technical rigour):

10.00 am: Admin, postgraduate matters, and further rumination on the Bible idea: pushing passed the obvious, challenging the initial conception, and moving towards betterment. To this end, I selected a card from my Oblique Strategies set:

There’s an ‘old idea’ to which this new idea points backwards: The Floating Bible: Miracle of the Risen Word (2015). This was the first occasion on which I made the sound of a biblical text was made audible in a gallery context.

12.00 pm: Pay-back time for services rendered. An early lunch with the artist Peter Monaghan, one of respected alumni, at a local eatery. There, you can purchase the best bangers, mash, and mushy peas in these parts. We discussed the ups and downs of teaching, the privilege of being engaged in the arts, and the challenge of retaining our respective liberties and integrities. There’s nothing to compare with the conversation of fellow artists.

1.40 pm: I prepared for the meeting held to help students prepare for their exhibition, at 2.00 pm:

catalogue, statements, photographs, captions, editing, selection, deadlines, timetables, demolition, construction, preparation, completion, instruction, compliance.

3.30 pm: A personal tutorial, followed by admin catch-up. 4.15 pm: I made an initial assault on a PhD Fine Art thesis for which I am internal examiner. 5.15 pm: Homeward.

7.30 pm: I completed a little personal admin before scurrying off into my studio like a mouse to its hole. ‘And Saul and I’ was reviewed. My ear was fresh and acute. I could distinguish nuances that were inaudible to me last night. I had one eye on Laura Kuenssberg’s tweets while the Prime Minister was addressing the nation. All we need now is to be invaded by vicious and implacable aliens.

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