Art is a means of finding new ways of looking at reality, of unearthing, discerning, and shaping new perceptions and questions about the world from the perspective of the individual artist. The assumption in this argument is that there is a limit to what is currently known. The artist works to fossick at the limits of knowledge. The new can stand outside of the known and as a result can be unrecognisable. It can be awkward or unsettling or simply invisible as per the maxim that we only see what we know.
Michael Craig Martin argues that the most important thing about an art school is the creation of a sympathetic ambience, in which people feel at ease to be who they are and bring what they have, naturally, in themselves to bear. Creating the circumstances in which things can happen is the key ingredient: empowering students to undertake the elation and frustration of creating the new.
This year we have greatly benefited from leadership and administration across the Department that recognise this simple emancipatory fact. We have also had the benefit of a wonderful teaching staff. I would like to thank John Nixon, Rosslynd Pyggott, Rosie Weiss, Steven Rendal, James Lynch, Daniel von Sturmer and Helen Johnson for their energy and expertise in creating these social circumstances. Thanks again to Michael Bullock for bringing his technical virtuosity to the enterprise.
I congratulate this year’s graduates who are an intelligent and ambitious collective force. They have been an immense pleasure to work with. I know they will make an important contribution to the art world in good time.
Painting Program Coordinator
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