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John Bellany – a life revealed

My first study visit with the Open College of the Arts was at The National Gallery in Edinburgh where Olivia Irvine and myself met up with a group of students from far and wide to see the John Bellany retrospective currently running until the 27th January. The show starts with his college work done as […]

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Lacock Study Visit

Revisiting the Fox Talbot Museum at Lacock in Wiltshire last week, I was reminded of how much for granted we take the crisp, clear, defined photographic print. The earlier experiments by Fox Talbot and his contemporaries rendered pictures that were much less clear, and perhaps even difficult to identify today as ‘photographic images’. Never-the-less, when […]

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“That is quite impossible, that has never been done before!”

“That is quite impossible, that has never been done before!” exclaims the opening line in Erich Salomon’s groundbreaking photo-essay book Famous Contemporaries In Unguarded Moments, first published in 1931. Erich Salomon was not radically conservative. On the contrary, he and many of his Jewish family members died in Auschwitz as victims of the Nazi dictatorship. […]

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Is textiles an art or a craft?

What is a craft? What we should be asking is; what is a person who uses craft to make work? A Craftsperson is, for me, a practitioner who displays an understanding of their chosen materials, and an understanding of the traditions that have gone before, it is not a term used automatically with terms such […]

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Stepping Down

  I’m stepping down from my role as OCASA President a little earlier than originally intended and there will be a process, beginning shortly, designed to have a new President in place by 1st February 2013.  My two year term would have been due to end on 31st May. My reasons fall, broadly, into two […]

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Study Visit to Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire and Seminar

  On Friday 7th December there will be a study visit to Lacock Abbey, the museum, current exhibition The Theatre of Insects by Jo Whaley, followed by a seminar in the afternoon. Lacock Abbey was the home of William Henry Fox Talbot, and was where he developed the Calotype contact-printing process in the 1830s, which is […]

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back to school

Well, I have arrived in Edinburgh and begun my masters programme. The first weeks of the course are being spent unpacking what art education has been in the recent past and could be for us. As an OCA tutor this has proved enormously useful for me and my students. Accessing art education theory and being […]

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OCA is proud of its new graduates

We were delighted to go to the graduation ceremony at Bucks New University a couple of weeks ago and get the opportunity to meet OCA graduates celebrating their achievements. Gareth Dent and I clapped our way through the ceremony to shake the hands of our graduates and share drinks and nibbles with them afterwards. This […]

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Are pianos musical?

As I write, the 17th Leeds International Pianoforte competition, held only every three years, comes to a close after three exhausting weeks, with yet another winning name from the 60 entrants – that of 24-year old Italian Federico Colli – added to its distinguished history. The competition, still masterminded by the 92-year old Dame Fanny Waterman […]

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New OCASA Website

OCASA now has its own website, which you can find at www.ocasa.org.uk.  Designed by our Vice President and Visual Communications Representative, Pam Wright, it is intended to be the public face for OCASA and will be the place to go for information about the organisation, as well as for practical things such as contact details, […]

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