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Bauhaus & Me #5 Workshops

As art and design courses are threatened by forces from either within or outside of their institution, they tend to curl inwards protectively. The advantage that Gropius and his successors had was that they ran an institution that was dedicated to the art, from architecture through to weaving. They understood and fostered lateral thinking and its role in creativity, innovation and design. They understood the relationship between disciplines. They were free of academic oversight and bureaucracy able to innovate, setting a lesson for other learning institutions.

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Bauhaus and Me #4

Death of a Dream In looking back at how the Bauhaus influenced and guided my own artistic, design and teaching practice I have come to realise that in the UK the art colleges are dying. The students are as bright and clever as ever, but the system is inimical to the...

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The Bauhaus and Me #3

Albers used paints straight from the tube showing how colour against colour changed perception of each in juxtaposition. Seeing change in a stable situation suggested that change in life could be seen too when it seemed unchanging. As one critic remarks, when these painting appeared in the 1950’s it marked the end of the Bauhaus revolution. Revolution became evolution. However, the impact on late 20th century art college teaching sprang not just from his work at the Bauhaus but also his work in the US at the famous Black Mountain College after the Bauhaus was hounded out of Germany in 1933

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The Bauhaus and Me: Part Two – my inherited legacy

The employment of so many artists injected creativity as the Bauhaus made a major influence in modernising the world of design in parallel with the revolution in political thought taking place. Quite ironic when you consider the radical form of German socialism that was to ultimately destroy it in the same way that Stalinist thought destroyed much of Russian artistic revolutionary activity

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The Bauhaus and Me

The Pre-Dip or Foundation course was not seen by them as a necessary diagnostic for young aspiring artists and designers but as a course without parallel in other disciplines and which required investment over and above that for the diplomas and degrees it serviced, forcing a constant battle of justification in an area that was the foundation of Gropius’ model. With over 45 different design and fine art disciplines to be fed now, it is surely even more necessary today than when introduced by Itten originally in the Bauhaus, especially given how little teaching is now delivered in our Universities.

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Memory Maps

For now, I am like a Greek god maliciously deleting houses, whole roads and communities, removing data as preparation for adding new information. In a sense I am priming the canvas, making ready to create a new mythology. I am changing the meaning of the map from map into a piece of artwork.

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Seaford Sunday

No “Quinquireme of Nineveh from distant Ophir” and the only stately galleons were the rain squalls sailing majestically up the Channel as I walk the shingle shore. Closer to the water the smaller stones glistened like “diamonds, emeralds, amethysts, topazes, and cinnamon,”. There wasn’t a “dirty British coaster” in sight, the closest to a “gold moidores” is the bright yellow of the Transmanche ferry reversing its way out of Newhaven harbour.

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Remembrance and the Mary Rose

Part of the beautiful displays are the cabinets containing items discovered in the cabins of individuals. Skeletons recovered so far allowed facial reconstruction to show images adding the faces of the dead to their belongings in the display cases. My partner found this disconcerting, but for me it brought the spiritual presence, the ghosts of these men from Henry 8th’s navy, into the room. Their spirits haunt this stunning museum, reminders everywhere of them in the initials, even names, carved into the recovered dishes. It is intensely moving.

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Dead Ringers Remembered (3)

The campaign started a year ago with a target of 1400 new ringers. Out of the eye of national media, but noted by local press with enthusiasm, the Ringing Remembers campaign has been a stunning success both for the organiser and for the individuals like me who took...

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