Creative Arts Blog Posts | The Open College of the Arts
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Creative Arts


Stay creative

Choosing and continuing to be creative is a really important act of self-care.  Whether you write, draw, sew, sculpt, paint, photograph or play an instrument, you can improve your mental wellbeing.  Over the coming weeks OCA will post open, creative content that everyone can get involved in.

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Slow observation – Time and slowing down to notice in Creative Arts

Despite technology being positioned as an enabler to modern life, it can often seem as if time and demands on our time have increased and sped up broadly in line with each technological innovation. Studies including the 2019 International research published in World Psychiatry suggests that the Internet and smart technology is changing our brains […]

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Student stories: Lynn Derriman.

Your choice of words, ‘active slow-creative journey’, really resonates. I feel that there is a direct link between the length of time I have been allowed to engage with this learning experience to its fullest extent at my own pace and how much of that acquired knowledge I’ve durably assimilated and integrated into my own creative practice.

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Student work: Ramona Mason

Creative Arts level 1 student, Ramona Mason, has employed text, place and a personal perspective of her life in London to significant effect in the completion of her work on Printmaking 1. I spoke to Ramona about her prints, at the start of her creative arts journey, and wanted to share these with you now.

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Student work: Scraps of Memory by Catherine Munro

The Creative Arts program encourages interdisciplinary approaches. It’s great to see how students can navigate multiple units to build a coherent creative practice. It can be hard to juggle different parts of a practice based course and one of the key challenges, I think, can be finding how to develop an individual direction. It can be very useful to step back and reflect on what are the ideas and methods that really drive and inspire you. This body of work entitled Scraps of Memory, by HE5 Creative Arts student Catherine Munro feels useful to share with wider OCA.

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Food for thought

Food has always played a role in art. From the Renaissance artist Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s witty portraits composed of fruits and vegetables and the beautiful still life paintings of the Dutch Golden Age, through to Wayne Thiebaud’s iconic painted pies and cakes in the pop art era, artists have used food to express their pleasures and preoccupations.  

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Student work: Helen Price

I enjoyed the way that art history and context was interwoven throughout the course. As each unit was presented, different artists and works were introduced in a way that was relevant to the project at hand. I found this to be a refreshing approach, in contrast to a timeline-based introduction to the history of art.

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Support in the ARF /Pt 2

Alongside the new changes to the Academic Regulatory Framework, OCA is introducing a number of new mechanisms designed to better support students.   What is the support in the ARF?   These are the Active Study Policy, Reasonable Adjustments Policy, and a revised Mitigating Circumstances Policy, and also the changes to degree pathways.   OCA […]

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Academic Regulatory Framework Changes /Pt 1

From 2nd January 2020 OCA is introducing a revised Academic Regulatory Framework. This document, which forms part of the Student Regulations, underpins and governs how all of OCAs degree programmes work, from the credits that are earnt on completion of a unit to the length of time available to complete a unit, level, and degree.  […]

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In conversation with: Arts & environment tutor Dan Robinson

It’s the bicentenary of John Ruskin’s birth this year so it is timely to consider his pedagogy and how it may still be relevant today. 

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