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sustaining practice


A fruitful feedback session

Some feedback can be seen as daunting, unpredictable, too long, too  dominating and a little bit too nice. But it is up to you how you want to direct it; you have ownership and drive it in a way which suits you. What do students  want from feedback sessions? Critique, direction, progress, ruthlessness,  compliments?  

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OCA events: Hexham Book Festival  

This year, some festivals are staying online, to prevent having to cancel at a later date. But the established Hexham Festival, established in 2006, is planning to go ahead next month in beautiful Northumberland.  We’re delighted that three of our creative writing tutors will be running workshops at the event.

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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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Student stories: Bloomberg New Contemporaries – Beverley Duckworth

The Bloomberg New contemporaries is the leading graduate art prize in the UK. This year I am delighted to say that a graduate from our own painting pathway has made it through the incredibly competitive first stage of the process.

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Developing ideas through making work and ‘listening’ to the work

Gwen Bird’s fourth submission for Drawing 1: Exploring Drawing Media shows how developing ideas by working through material processes rather than thinking about conclusions or results can result in creative breakthroughs. While having a goal in mind is not necessarily a bad thing when making work, it can sometimes overwhelm and obscure really interesting potential ideas that emerged from the act of making.

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Talking Out Loud: Reflective videos within textile practice

I want to share my thoughts on using video recordings as a useful tool in an active reflective practice. I will draw on my experiences as a tutor and as a textile designer and maker currently studying for an MA in Textile Design at the Royal College of Art (RCA). 

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What kind of spatial designer am I? #4 Grant Armstrong

Studying Interior Design, Spatial Design, Interior Architecture – or any kind of design of the built environment – can lead to many different careers. In this series of blog posts we are looking at the experience and careers of different design professionals and finding out what inspired them to study in the first place. Our fourth design professional is Grant Armstrong, an experienced supervising art director and production designer for film and television.

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In conversation: OCA student Mel Brown & tutor Bryan Eccleshall

As a tutor that’s seen a lot of these projects, it’s perhaps important to mention that no two projects are the same and there isn’t really a ‘right’ answer. The important thing to take from this is that a complex project doesn’t arrive fully-formed but is developed over time. The final format (at least for now) of this work is a recreation of Mel’s teenage bedroom – something that she couldn’t have imagined when she started.

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Student stories: Martine Elliott

This painting ‘Cabin Crew 20 minutes to Landing’ was created during the lockdown in that studio from many photographs and the memories from coming into land after days away on long haul trips. I painted it for my fourth assignment Practice of Painting and decided to submit it to Grayson Perry’s Art Club, the travel episode.

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Celebrate

For the last ‘Expressing Your Vision’ groupwork session we decided to try something a little bit different and invited all EYVers from March assessment to share the best of their submissions with their fellow students. The idea was more for a celebration than a crit, but with such a creatively diverse set of assignments there were plenty of questions to be asked and the session naturally developed into a wide ranging discussion on different aspects of the course and photography in general. 

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