A very quick post… we’re several months in to our monthly crit group of Level 5 Exploring Media students… five of us in the group.
I just wanted to mark that the sessions have evolved and are now much more useful. We are getting to know each other and it feels if we are becoming colleagues.
The sessions are livelier and easier with people able to speak openly, while still keeping focussed on our art.
This has several benefits.
For me, the biggest benefit is that I don’t feel isolated anymore. I know I could email any one of them and get an honest response. We’d help each other out… and we might even have a joint digital show later in the year.
It might sound obvious, but we’re getting to know each other as people, and it’s wonderful to see how different we all are… and how our art connects to us as people. The problem with one off Zoom sessions, organised events (and, for me, generally anything I interact with online) is that I don’t engage with it in the same way as with real people in the real world. It’s like reading a book, it’s somehow ‘in my head’. But, there’s a different kind of connection evolving in the group, which is nearer to a real connection.
I’m sure it would be different again if we met in person as presence (and all the other cues we pick up) makes it a much richer experience. But within the confines of what you can do online, and to what I’ve had before, this is a really supportive and useful group.
Also, hearing what other people think of your work on a regular basis, and how little control you have of how it’s seen, valued or interpreted is a welcome breath of fresh air and puts what can be an intense process in perspective. It’s also very good experience answering questions on your work and explaining meaning and process.