College Days

I just received from an Adelaide art buddy, Miss Nuttree, the very last Vis Biz (art mag) and a CD full of photos from my old art college. The Art Department has closed and the whole school will shut down in a years’ time (too expensive to maintain). The city campuses are shinny and nice but we had a really great and diverse community at O’Halloran Hill.
My first group exhibition as an art student 'Tickled Pink' 2001 with my 3 and 6 year old

The best and probably the most precious part of going to art school (besides the people – that’s a given) is being given the gift to let go. Being in a safe environment under the title of ‘Art Student’ (no pressure to perform) and having your work constantly critiqued by the lecturer and fellow student (with all the same insecurities as you, lecturer included) as an everyday part of the class really does prepare you for hitting the big wide world of art.  

Assessment time was amazing with art work covering the walls of all the hallways twice a year. My funniest and most grounding experiences happened through this ritual. My Oil Painting class based on Abstract Impressionism got the booby prize of hanging our work up in the main hall opposite the entrance to the library.  Viz Arts was quiet a big department but we also shared the school with apprentice electricians and mechanics, geoscience and viticulture. 

Let’s just say I was impressed by the variety of pooh my work was compared to. And of course I got a very high mark for that subject. The following assessment for Printmaking, I did a series of cemetery angels. I made a lot of work but also screen printed the images onto cushions and t-shirts (an art school no-no). They had a great public response; people actually came up to me asking if it was my work and if they could buy pieces. The assessment committee deemed my work too commercial and I only just passed. How brilliant was that. You got to love it, it is a crazy crazy industry but I truly find being an artist an amazing adventure.

Standing in front of one of my conceptual pieces, yes one of those crazy things you do as a student. And then have to write an essay about it.

Thank you O’Halloran Hill for opening my heart and soul to this wonderful world of art and to be able to laugh at its juxtaposition (art wank for two sides to everything)
'The Bruce Wilson Gallery' on campus, always got a great crowd for openings.  And then during the week we got to eat our lunch amongst the art


  1. Again, I found your post very entertaining and a bit nostalgic. I think I told you I returned to school, graduating with a B.A. in Art, minor in English and American Lit...the joke was I could throw a pot on the wheel and write wonderful essays at the same time!! LOL

    We were expected to attend many art shows and attend lectures...boring!! As a student in my 50's, I was already over that "angst" stage of my life and didn't see any purpose in making "ugly, meaningful (meaningless)" art or making "vagina or goddess" cliche for me! LOL So I was a bit of a renegade however, I was still expected to do good work and also sat through the crits...thinking to myself much of the work was "ugly, meaningful (meaningless)," art!! LOL


    1. Oh Georgina that's so funny and so true. Yer there was a strange push towards dark deep work, my final year was in 2004 and I just felt like it was done to death as with the vagina art, that hit it's peck in the 70's. Interesting to study as art history but I think we needed to move on. I like fun and colour. I pissed a few people off because i argued that most of the art work done will be judged on weather it goes with the carpet and cushions, I was labeled pragmatic. There is so many layers to the art world, love it.


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