Sitting With It — Richard Bell

When contemplating this year’s Fine Art Degree Show title, Sitting With It, I am reminded of:

How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare, a performance piece enacted by the German artist Joseph Beuys on 26 November 1965.

Beuys was an ardent provocateur of art education. Once quoting: ‘To be a teacher is my greatest work of art’. As I watch this year’s graduating group bring the culmination of their degree to a conclusion, I feel that Beuys remains ever current to young creative people engaged in the process of art education. This exhibition is not just a celebration of their success, but provides us with an opportunity to sit and reflect. To consider how significant and critical their contribution is to the continuing enrichment of our culture. Challenging our complacencies and awakening our senses to the importance of quiet contemplation. Time to sit, to think and to create. In this ever increasingly frenetic world we have lost that time, precious to our survival, these young creative educators show us how important and productive that time can be. So much can be achieved through the collective community when time and space are cherished and nurtured to create what must be considered a timely reminder of how important art education is. Not just culturally but for our meaningful existence on this precious plant.

These young people have shown us, through their exhibition, the true and outstanding achievements that can enrich our lives. If we can just take the time to sit and reflect.

To sit and take the time to explain pictures to a dead hare!

Richard Bell, Lecturer
School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies