sustaining practice Blog Posts | The Open College of the Arts
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sustaining practice


Reading short stories: where to start?

Where can you come across new short fiction that gives you a broader sense of what’s possible in the form?

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Spellspheres: Part 3

Before beginning one of your compositions, it is useful to think carefully about the instrument(s) you are writing for. The sound, character, or register of an instrument should have an impact on your composition; for example, a solo tuba piece is likely to be quite different to a work for violin. 

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Virtual study event: Photography during a Global Pandemic 

Join OCA tutor Arpita Shah on the 28 August in this unique virtual study event, which will explore the creative ways contemporary photographers having been working in to make inspiring and meaningful photography work during these unprecedented times. 

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Throwback Thursday: Assignment 4 meets my Grandmother

In January 2019 OCA Student Julia Crockatt wrote about how research for her assignment 4 in the course Context and Narrative led her on a personal journey of discovery about her family. She’s now completed and published a website on the same.

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Online Exhibiting 1: ‘A practice of possibility’: exhibiting art in a mid-pandemic world

As the first in a series of Sustaining Your Practice-related blog posts on online exhibiting, Helen Warburton (OCA tutor and BAFTA Exhibitions Manager) interviews Rowan Lear (artist and writer interested in art ecologies, queer and critical race theory, and former co-director of the artist-led festival, Bristol Biennial).

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Notes on summer digital assessment – A tutor/assessor’s perspective

Assessment can be a nervous time for many, whether it’s your first course unit or final degree qualification, the summative grading of your hard work underpins progress made and future direction, forming key milestones in your studies. This summer’s assessment was the first fully digital event at OCA, as students and tutors had to adapt during the height of the covid pandemic.

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Virtual study event: NO SHOW, MA Fine Art 2020

Join students from the MA Fine Art cohort along with tutor Hayley Lock to view and discuss the work made for NO SHOW, the first virtual exhibition held by the OCA. Wednesday 29 July 6pm – 8pm

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What would we do without villains?

Not all stories have a bad guy or gal. Conflict, and the thwarting of desire, can come from many other sources. In fact, having a villain at all could be thought of as an artefact of certain genres; action, crime, romance and adventure, for instance, although for the purpose of this blogpost, I’m casting my net more widely. Some of the greatest literature features ‘the villain’, Shakespeare being master of the purposefully evil human intent on destruction and full of hate, and Dickens taking up that mantle willingly, creating iconic villains such as Uriah Heep.

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Exhibitions – Physical and virtual

One of the positive effects of lockdown is that we all have to think outside the box and to take risks, myself included. The online exhibition, Study Visit and Artist talk was not something I was considering but these have proved to be a fantastic way to promote my work to a wider audience. I am looking forward to being able to hang my work in a gallery as originally planned. 

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OCA BA (Hons) Photography final year show in partnership with AOP

We are proud to announce the launch today of our OCA BA (Hons) Photography final year show in partnership with Association of Photographers (AOP). Ten of our final year OCA BA (Hons) Photography students are exhibiting online 20 July to 7 September inclusive.

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