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Tutor news: Vicky MacKenzie

Huge congratulations to OCA Creative Writing tutor Vicky MacKenzie on this highly prestigious book deal for her novel. Any of her students will agree that she is a wise and wonderful writer as well as a wonderful tutor – so it’s great news to hear of the imminent publication of this fascinating book.

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What is your tutor up to? – Garry MacKenzie

In some of my previous blogs I’ve explored writing about the environment, translation, and building on other texts in your own writing. These are all issues which I’ve been thinking about for my poetry book Ben Dorain: a conversation with a mountain, which has just been published. In this blog I’ll explain what the book is about, and share what I’ve learned from writing it.

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The Art of Invitation – Part 2

It is common for an artist to write a statement defining their practice. In my opinion this serves a greater purpose for the artist than for the audience (who, after all, should be free to respond emotionally to an experience rather than being instructed regarding its intention). I have been writing and rewriting my statement […]

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The Art of Invitation – Part 3

‘The Gathering’ 2018, repopulating a space in Romania left abandoned since the revolution in 1989 I learnt a lot from my conversations and brief collaboration with the late great Will Alsop. Most notably that not everything has to make sense – actions do not always have to be justified. Play is the beginning of creativity […]

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The Art of Invitation – Part 1

‘Beacon’ 2016, Installation on an ancient beacon site where the audience is invited by the light rather than by a selective process. My work is the investigation of pathways, migrations and unplanned encounters. It is only with hindsight that I can understand the rationale behind my creative practice. I call this retrospective research; looking back […]

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The Language of Type

There are thousands of type faces for you to choose from, but how do you choose the right one? Many great designers normally use only three or four for all their work. Because there are now so many, the temptation is to always use something novel and distinctive. However, it is often not the novelty […]

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The Section Drawing: Communicating Experience

When people think of interior design or architecture drawings, usually floor plans come to everyone’s mind first. However, a designer will quickly understand that a section drawing, that is a vertical slice through a building, space, object, etc., is the one that allows you to understand and test the experience of a design more effectively. […]

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Scale – Why is the scale of things important?

I’m a tutor on OCA’s Interior Design courses. I was sent images of a model made by one of my students. It represented a pavilion design and was well made and interesting to look at. Trouble is, I had no idea how big it was supposed to be. The dictionary definition of scale is “The […]

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The Show Must Go On: Digital Possibilities in the Covid Era for Writers and Learners

  I am sure as a distance learner, you’ll likely be used to incorporating different technologies into your learning experience  – I was certainly Zooming ‘before it was cool’ thanks to OCA meetings and I can’t help but notice how many learning tools we seem to be early adopters of. We’re also lucky to have […]

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New Year Resolutions and the Seven Deadly Sins

It’s that time of year again – when we all promise we will rid ourselves of bad habits and become better people. But for writers, good people can be poor characters: it’s the flaws we’re all interested in. All crimes, for instance, can begin with one of the Seven Deadly Sins, and they may make […]

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