OCA news: New course – Painting 2: Exploring Media
Exploring Media is the long-awaited new stage two painting course for all students on the painting pathway. The majority of the course was developed by lead author Hayley Lock, but this course is unique in that it was also shaped by current stage two students through our bi-monthly studio meetings last year.
In discussion with students, I learned more about how it feels to be a stage two student. As a tutor I have always had the sense that stage two is the most challenging part of our degrees in some ways. It asks you to do to almost opposing things. It asks you to look around you and open yourself up as widely as possible to new ideas and process with quite some degree of depth. It also asks you to evaluate and analysis all that new and exciting stuff and extracts useful bits to develop a personal practice. The seesawing between those two has historically been hard to manage and get the balance exactly right.
This course has a new way of dealing with that issue which is to support the student and their tutor to make those decisions. I have been really explicit about the Janus element of stage two by literally splitting the course down the middle. For half your time you will be in a playground of ideas – or an ‘Ideas Lab’ as Hayley has framed it – and for the rest of the time you will be reflecting, experimenting and letting the new stuff connect and form a personal studio practice.
For the Ideas Lab, there is an innovative set of options rather than the usual assignments. This means you have an element of choice as to what you study and you can select options more likely to suit your emerging practice. The great thing about that is that our studio meetings can continue to contribute ideas for new options which could be commissioned in future years so the course can be co-designed with students. It will also mean that tutors with a specific exciting idea or research field can be commissioned to add another option to the Ideas Lab.
The course covers lots of exciting contemporary theory and practice and will be both a stimulus and a provocation but also a space to find out who you are and grow in confidence as a painter.
Exploring Media is open to enrolments to all students on the painting pathway.
Image: BES by Pippa Gatty oil on linen