The ongoing adventure

At the beginning of May I posted my first Weekly Roundup (3-Apr-2016). Looking back over the five months since I see decent progress. It’s been a time of consciously self-directed activity, developing streams of work, noticing and following what catches my attention. Lectures, exhibitions, reading, sketching, workshops, some developing strands of investigation on folds and grids… Not rushing towards a specific goal, but being accountable to myself, not drifting, with a post most weeks to review and consolidate.

In my last post I mentioned that the new/revamped OCA level 2 course has been released and I am under-whelmed. It could be absolutely perfect for someone else, but not for me. I’ve spent some time reflecting on my interests, where I want to develop.

  • Textiles in contemporary art. There’s the push of the fibre arts movement. There’s a broadening of media in art. Cecilia Heffer’s discussion at the GROUP exchange symposium keeps coming to mind (22-May-2015), also Conor Wilson’s paper Sloppy Discipline (14-Aug-2016).
  • Sculpture and objects, installation, temporal and spatial exploration.
  • A long-standing interest in additive construction – felting, spinning, weaving, now basketry
  • Studio-based practice
  • Working towards becoming a self-aware practicing artist.
  • Experimental, innovative, engaged with materials and techniques – both traditional and emerging, with a textile sensibility
  • Mindful of the context of contemporary ideas and work.
  • I like structured learning, but the OCA course is not a good fit at the moment and I haven’t found an alternative.

    So time to structure my own learning. Similar to the past few months, but more so.

    Areas of investigation:

  • Art & textiles – complete reading Art & Textiles: Fabric as material and concept in modern art from Klimt to the present, then more on textile art history
  • Sculpture, particularly involving fibre. I have a small pile of books referenced in Fiber: Sculpture 1960 ā€“ present
  • Collage and assemblage. An exhibition opens soon at AGNSW, Art of parts: collage and assemblage from the collection (link). I’ve never come to grips with collage, but this really fits with the additive construction angle.
  • Ramping up the rigour of my process:

  • Follow the research guidelines of the OCA Contemporary Context course (the particular projects aren’t for me, but the approach looks strong).
  • Similarly the OCA drawing/sketchbook guidelines.
  • And their assessment criteria. Obviously no tutor or assessors, but I can use the criteria in my own reflection.
  • Supplement with strategically chosen classes:

  • Short basketry classes (previously booked)
  • Beginner drawing classes. To check/set basic skills, building towards life drawing classes next year (which I think would be really helpful in seeing form for sculpture)
  • Creative research masterclass with Ruth Hadlow (in November, previously booked). This will definitely up the rigour of my work and provide external critique.
  • Basketry summer school at Sturt (link). Foundation skills and exploration of sculptural forms.
  • Welding sculptures summer school at National Art School (link). Very excited about this.
  • Plus the regular lectures at AGNSW, exhibitions etc. This blog will remain my learning log, probably including the weekly roundup with separate specific posts as warranted.

    An ambitious program that should provide an integration of theoretical and contextual research with practical investigation. And with all of this I want to stay focused, structured, coherent, playful, lateral, pushing boundaries.

    Given the summer classes are in January, this should keep me usefully occupied for at least five months. Then I can reassess, and could always return to OCA if it seemed a good idea.

    A ridiculously ambitious program – but it excites me.

    10 Responses to “The ongoing adventure”


    1. 1 JulieB September 16, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      This sounds a fantastic programme of study, Judy – I’m quite envious. I’m sorry that the OCA course isn’t a good fit but this personalized scheme looks both challenging and wide ranging. I do hope you’ll continue to keep us posted on here, I so enjoy your weekly updates.

      • 2 fibresofbeing September 17, 2016 at 12:31 am

        Thanks Julie. Not being part of the OCA student body was definitely a significant concern in the decision, but square peg and round hole… Perhaps in the future OCA will release more level 2 courses. At the moment there’s no choice and as a curvaceous woman I know one size doesn’t necessarily fit all šŸ™‚

    2. 3 Inger Weidema September 20, 2016 at 5:41 pm

      Judy – this post made my day. Your way of taking charge of your own learning path is absolutely inspiring and well considered. I feel I can learn a lot by applying such an approach, it is like a learning map. with such a map one can drift off in directions, but always know where one is on the map. Thank you for sharing this here because I think this kind of thinking is that we should ultimately be wanting to learn during a HE. It may be innate to you and I feel certain that you will be in competent hands even without the OCA. God luck. /Inger

    3. 4 fibresofbeing September 20, 2016 at 9:08 pm

      Thanks Inger, I really appreciate the encouragement.
      Yes, a major role of HE should be learning to learn, learning how to maintain an active, vital practice in all the years ahead. In some ways I expect my learning and growth will be slower, but it will be in the direction that draws me, not a compromise.
      Good luck to you too in your studies.


    1. 1 Weekly roundup 18 September 2016 | Fibres of Being Trackback on September 18, 2016 at 8:57 pm
    2. 2 Weekly roundup 2 October 2016 | Fibres of Being Trackback on October 2, 2016 at 6:18 pm
    3. 3 14 October 2016 | Fibres of Being Trackback on November 13, 2016 at 8:47 pm
    4. 4 27 November 2016 | Fibres of Being Trackback on November 27, 2016 at 6:41 pm
    5. 5 11 December 2016 | Fibres of Being Trackback on December 11, 2016 at 6:04 pm
    6. 6 Workshop: Welding Sculptures with Paul Hopmeier | Fibres of Being Trackback on January 22, 2017 at 3:43 pm

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