Tuesday, September 16, 2008

First critiques

Robin had his first formal crit yesterday at school. He came home for supper, both energized and excited to talk about the conversations that took place during the group critiques. The way that it works is this: the grad students go around to each studio as a group with the three faculty members and are expected to provide an update on their research and respective bodies of work.

A crit is desirably what the word describes it to be - a critique of the work and hopefully helpful to the student, not discouraging. The students are looking for constructive feedback and a dialogue that may inspire them to take the work further, or sometimes not. It is therefore important to treat these crits as opportunities for growth, and although it is helpful to have developed a thicker skin through undergraduate critiques, some people never are able to let go of their defenses entirely. 

To his advantage, Robin is open to all feedback, and sees these next few years as an invitation to make the most of the resources and facilities, to take his work in directions he may not have previously thought while pursuing those ideas he's been interested in and hasn't given himself permission to until now.  

He has been making these larger jars now for the last three weeks, and admits to never having made this many jars consecutively in a row before. The process of making them one after the other has offered some valuable insight into the form and what it is he is trying to achieve in it. 
His concentrated efforts on this one particular form, has allowed him to think critically about what it is that has attracted him to these forms in the first place. 

His intention with these jars is to try and understand what it is that has inspired him about certain historical forms and their presence, and how he can adapt it to inform his own work. This was mostly what the dialogue in his first crit was all about. 

On the homefront, we've been having critiques at the dinner table over Isla's latest fingerpainting creations. She is particularly fond of the second one from the right. I of course think they are all masterpieces. 

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