I have spent the past couple of days in and out of this website, wondering how to start writing and what on earth to write after I’ve begun. It is pretty hard to start if you’re not exactly sure what to say. But after finally pulling myself together, here’s what my brain came up with…
TMI. Too Much Information. Mainly because in one day we had two lectures packed with information and learning and tips and associations and what not… two lectures can be quite stressful when each is so intense.
Let’s start with the first one – a Study Skill Session with Theo Humphries. I enjoyed it quite a lot. Even though he gives you a scary vibe, once you relax and just listen to what he has to say, you can get a lot out of it. What he talked about was basically 1) Handling History, 2)Handling ‘-isms’, and 3)Handling Texts (close reading = opposite of speed reading). I am not going to write here everything he said but in other words. I will only say that while I learned quite a lot of new stuff and saw some things in a different perspective, I also heard and did some things that I had already done before. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that there’s a lot of intense learning in Bulgaria and I kind of went through a lot of things that people my age haven’t… I don’t know. What’s important is that the close reading was a good exercise and it reminded me not to get rusty on that or any other subject. The text we worked on was a short one – it was just one of those explanatory texts that artists and galleries put next to a certain piece. This one was by Prof. André Stitt, ‘The Little Summer of St. Michael’ from 2011. If you can find that text for yourselves and check it out you will see it’s packed with sophisticated words and complex sentences. With straightforward meanings and concealed ones. After a while it could drive you insane. Well, we worked on it for an hour and I think that was plenty.
Next we had a breakfast break of one hour. It was just perfect – neither too long nor too short, unlike last time, when we had to wait for two hours for the next lecture to start and after an hour and a half we felt like our heads were going to explode from doing nothing… Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
(*This is a painting by Jeremy Deller*)
The second lecture – by Prof. Jeff Jones was mostly about William Morris and the power of Art. We talked a lot about him – where he came from and what heights he reached, the people and movements he was involved with, the ideas and beliefs he represented and how he contributed to Art and the people.
I definitely agree with most of the things he stood for. Parts of the lecture stood out and had an… impact on me, so to speak. For example: An artist cannot, must not, be separated and independent from religion, politics and society. I could write a whole essay saying why I agree with that statement but for now it’s enough to say that I do. (And isn’t it interesting how we in the 21st century can relate to the beliefs of someone who died 200 years ago?)
I didn’t really understand why we were having such a lecture while we were having it. It made no sense to me that we had to focus on that one single artist while there were a thousand more that we could have discussed. But in retrospect, as I write now, I kind of get it. I understand what it was about. I am glad I kept notes despite the fact that I was quite distracted during that hour. I am thankful that I did, otherwise I could not have written this and therefore reached this conclusion… (aah, sometimes it’s the little things you do…)
“There is Love, Pleasure and Cooperation in our art.” A quote by William Morris. This is something I strive to do every time I take the pencil or the brush. Honestly, I feel inspired right now, so great thanks to Jeff Jones for introducing me to William Morris.