Sally Harrison | The Open College of the Arts | OCA Showcase
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Sally Harrison

BA (Hons) Textiles

Sally Harrison


“I’m just into my fifties and like many people my age, I went down the sensible route after leaving school; opting for the safe career rather than the risky art school option.

OCA has given me the opportunity to pursue my ‘art school’ dream in a mature environment that fits around the demands of a grown-up life, filled with family and work commitments.

Why did I choose to study with the OCA?

Flexibility and time were the main factors for me. I took a couple of creative workshops which did teach me a lot, but required regular attendance for classes. I was looking for a way of developing my practice within an educational framework that didn’t limit me to studying on specific days. I am happy to work on my own, but working to a brief gives me a learning structure which I prefer.

To gain inspiration and excite new ideas, I use social media and attend study visit days that OCA offer. They provide me with opportunities to interact with fellow students, and again, I can choose when and where this happens.

As I continue on through the course, the tasks spark experimentation, adding new levels of depth and integrity to my work, that I would never have attained without the encouragement and direction provided by the OCA. This level of flexibility balanced with a professional study program is the perfect combination for me. I am comfortable working with minimal face-to-face interaction with a tutor, after all, this degree is to guide me to develop my own practice.

How did I get my work showcased?

I share my work widely on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest as Sally Harrison Art – Using the hashtags #WeAreOCA and #OCAonShow when I can. 

I received a very nice message from the @OpenCollegeArts, on my Instagram account asking me to submit some photos of my work to showcase for the OCA – I was delighted! I have learnt so many new ways to promote my work in a safe, supportive environment with OCA, it really has opened up new opportunities for me. 

I am also showcasing my work in an exhibition with the textile art group UN:Hinged at Wem Town Hall in Shropshire on Thursday 5th September 2019 until 10th October 2019. My display takes you through, very simply, the work I did for the textile course – A Textile Vocabulary.”