i. We spent Wednesday morning with artist and curator Dan Howard-Birt provisionally curating our interim display with MA Book Arts. It was interesting to find links between, and discuss the curation of, a whole load of quite disparate work. Dan guided us through the process and I think the display will look smart. However I can't help feeling that my work doesn't quite look at home - it is the only figurative piece in the show. Does it stand out or not fit in?
ii. I went to visit the Royal College of Art 2018 Show. I thought the printmaking exhibition was impressive (the painting show was underwhelming). A lot of the printmaking work was ambitious and bold especially in its scale and display. I was particularly impressed by the work of Shinyoung Park and Alice Irwin. I aim to be braver and more adventurous with my work heading into my second year and next year's final show.
iii. It's been a productive week: curating the interim display, planning the next few weeks, reading and sending emails and letters to Chantal Joffe and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye for the research paper etc. I remember Jo telling us at the beginning of the year that during the MA there would be times of inactivity but I can't help getting frustrated with my recent lack of making. Next week I'm heading back to the South West to make drawings in the pub and I can't wait. I'm out of practice and feel disconnected from the work. Bring on the summer!
iv. I also finished my etching course at the Royal Drawing School. I may not have made any resolved or impressive works but I have learned lots of little skills (including multi-plate printing, sugar lift, better ways to use colour and a new way of using chin-collé). I've really enjoyed it and hope that these skills might later appear in my own work or teaching.
v. Although I am excited about making new work, I need to consider the contemporary context of, and my rationale for, my work about the pub. Group scenes automatically suggest a narrative and although it's documentary I'm not making reportage illustrations nor do I have a particular point to make. I've been looking at paintings such as Michael Andrew's Colony Room, Leon Kossoff's swimming pools, Chantal Joffe's fashion week studies and younger contemporary painters. I must explore this further.