Meet OCA Tutor Jim Unsworth - The Open College of the Arts
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Meet OCA Tutor Jim Unsworth

In this, the first in the series “Meet the Tutors”, we join Jim Unsworth (and his dog) in his studio in Lincolnshire, and watch him at work. Jim talks about his work, his practice and something about what it takes to be a creative artist.

Jim is a drawing, painting and sculpture tutor and a visual arts assessor for the OCA.

Posted by author: Alison Churchill
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23 thoughts on “Meet OCA Tutor Jim Unsworth

  • I love this and think it’s beautifully paced, clearly presented, relaxing and inspiring. I think it would do very well in the ‘shorts’ slot on Channel 4.
    It’s also very nice to see a tutor. More please!

  • It’s great to see what our tutors are like – the type of work they do. Definitely looking forward to more of the same.

  • As the others here have said, it’s great to get a glimpse into the tutor’s lives and to see the work they do themselves. Really enjoyed this film – Jim’s approach is highly motivating!

  • I really enjoyed watching this short film. It’s nice to be able to put a face to a name. I also liked Jim’s manner which was unpretentious and very approachable. He seems very down to earth. His sculptures are equally charming.

  • You made an interesting comment in the video, Jim, to the effect that you are not a conceptual artist. But you have concepts… And you make art… Could you say a bit more about that?

    • This is a complex issue and for me the crux to making good art. Simly put when i work i let the sculpture have a voice of its own which i listen to and respond to; the concept or idea is on a back burner somewhere to use as a reference point. Simply the fact that the new work is on the horizontal and alive but more or less static at the same time raises many conceptual issues which I do not need to comment on here. If a sculpture is made and expressed well and it has intention the conceptual element of the piece will come through, but enhanced significantly by the making process. Sometimes I begin a series of work with an idea; in other instances the working process will kick start a conceptual theme. I do not adhere to any set rules on this.

  • I very much enjoyed this! And find this type of video a great insight into the OCA/tutors/artists generally. It would be awesome if students could feature in these types of videos as well.

  • Just picking up on Noah’s comment above that it would be good to see OCA students featured in videos too. This is something we are justing starting to do, all coming soon!

  • Great – lovely – and I look forward to all the rest of you introducing yourself this way. Not just the tutors.

  • This is a wonderful short film.I love Jim’s elephants and his dog sketches looked great.Its very inspiring to hear an artist talk about his work. I’m looking forward to seeing some more tutors at work!

  • I found Jim’s comments on competetiveness interesting – I think that is something that often drives us on without our realising it. Possibly competitiveness with our peers, certainly competetiveness with ourselves. His comments on the necessity for hard graft also strike home.

  • Wow. What a super video to watch. Just love Jim’s attitude, his chat about ideas, discipline and his inspiration. What a great studio he has and to see his working practice is just uplifting.
    Yes, more please!

  • I like the no nonsense comment about art being like anything else – hard work and then something special happens. The fact that he takes inspiration from around him whether it’s spurred by a competitive streak or the beauty of his dog is immaterial; it’s his response that’s important.
    I am doing a Creative Writing Degree and the further I travel the more I get comments from friends and family on how far I have come; Jim’s comments about hard work sum it up. This is very inspirational and I hope we’ll see more of Jim and other tutors.

  • I used to love making sculptures. At school I did a lot of figures in clay and at college I was introduced to stone and wood carving. I also discovered painting, though, and went on to specialise in that. Seeing Jim work has made me realise how much I miss it. I see he tutors in Painting too, so obviously manages to do both. The only sculptures I do now are fun ones on the beach with my children made out of found objects. I would love to learn to cast in bronze. I need two lives!

  • Thoroughly enjoyed seeing Jim at work. His comments about hard work reminds me of the saying “The harder I work the luckier I become”. Could change that to the better I become. Studying on your own is a lonely place so seeing the Tutors is a great help. Well done! I look forward to seeing more or the Tutors and would be nice to know the staff at OCA.

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