top of page

OCA Europe Regional Group Newsletter

Summer 2022

Introducing Region Europe Student Group.

We are a group of more than seventy students, resident in more than seventeen countries spanning different disciplines. Although united by a common passion for the arts, we see our cultural and artistic diversity as one of our key strengths. There is a core group that facilitates the group’s activities.

If you are a student based in or connected to the European continent - excluding the UK (see specific OCA groups) - and would like to become part of our growing community please register at OCASA. We would love to welcome you.

Looking back

During the academic year 2021-2022, on the basis of the previous feedback, we made the curation of a public exhibition, Wander Wide Web, our overarching focus. Here, a group of three members formed the exhibition group to propose the format, workshops, tutors and organisation. We also included the expressed interest in exploring collaboration across the membership in the exhibition project, which over the nine months of its running became both a virtual residency and exhibition. We want to look back at our activities and outline what we are planning for the next academic year.

On every first Tuesday of the month, we held virtual Open Cafés. These are informal gatherings among members, where the Zoom lines are open to anyone who would like to share something, ask questions, ask for a critique, advice or simply meet fellow students and students from other disciplines.

“Digital Self” by Adelina Gelu - 2022.

In December, tutor Jayne Taylor ran a crit session where students could present their work and receive feedback principally from the tutor and also from the rest of the group.

These events are very motivating and combat feelings of isolation. The crit sessions are always very constructive and improve my critical thinking skills. I like the interdisciplinarity of the sessions - it opens my horizon.

Annette,Textiles, France / Switzerland

“Connections” by Lia - RGE Group Wander Wide Web Exhibition, June-September 2022.

In November we kicked off a group exhibition project in a session with tutor Diana Ali. About 20 students participated and split into groups thinking about what brought us together, looking for a red thread. We called the project and the exhibition Wånder Wide Web, with reference to the wide web of invisible relations that unite us across the European continent and to the sense of wandering across disciplines and ideas.

Organising the online exhibition together with the others was an important learning experience. It was an experience in collaboration and curatorship. Diana's workshops helped cement my thoughts that it is the process that counts and not really the end product.

Sonia, Painting, Germany

“Likened to Lychen III” by Baiba and Admyll - RGE Group Wander Wide Web Exhibition, June-September 2022

In January, we met again with the exhibition group for a second workshop with Diana Ali to firm up theme and title and to look at our work in progress in a crit session.

In February, Rebecca Fairley, the Programme Leader of the Textile Department, led a very engaging workshop with practical activities on Research for Art Students. Central topics were critical thinking skills, the interrelationship between practice and research and decision-making during the research process.

It definitely helped me to feel more confident about my work and sharing my work. I have enjoyed working across different genres have learned new technical skills

Catherine, Textiles, UK / France

In February we also had a workshop with tutor Helen Warburton, Photography and Creative Artist tutor, looking at online exhibitions and websites. We explored how other organisations, collectives, curators and artists have tackled the web-space and how artists have used social media. From this workshop we decided to create a website with OCA Spaces, a virtual exhibition using Kunstmatrix and to use the OCA Europe Instagram page for advertising our exhibition.

“Conspiring with plants - Still 1-2” by Inger - RGE Group Wander Wide Web Exhibition, June-September 2022

In April, the exhibition group had the third session with Diana Ali, this time focused on learning to prepare our artist statement, marketing and to finalize our works for the group exhibition.

The exhibition helped me lots: working collaboratively, learning about Kunstmatrix, and the tutor sessions discussing what needs to be done in order to produce an exhibition

Peter, Photography, Switzerland

In May, we had a second crit session led by Jayne Taylor, which this time was dedicated primarily to critiquing the works that are going to form part of our group exhibition this summer. We were able to refine and incorporate any last minute changes and learned how to consider the outputs in relation to the available virtual exhibition space.

I could add to my learning experience and use the work made or critiqued

Karen, Fine Arts, South Africa

“Hug Me” by Renate - RGE Group Wander Wide Web Exhibition, June-September 2022

Last but not least, on June 30th, to close off the academic year our group exhibition “Wander Wide Web” was launched with a Vernissage and it will last the entire summer until 31th October 2022.

The exhibition project has helped us connect and learn to work as a group and learn the value of collaboration. We look back at this experience as an online residency. Together a dream became reality. We invited tutors, students, friends and family to register for the vernissage.

Looking forward

With a very full year behind us, we are looking at future ways to enhance our activities, based on feedback received from the group. The focus for the new academic year will be on experimentation, creative research and presentation. We will continue to have a range of activities that bring us closer to one another, which will include:

- Regular monthly Open Café sessions as a means of encouraging peer crit and informal interaction - every first Wednesday of the month, in the evening

- Tutor-led events, including one on reviewing the outcomes of the group exhibition with Diana Ali, one on contextualization with Michele Whiting, one on beauty in art with Katie Taylor and a follow up on research with Rebecca Fairley.

- Guest session with graduate student Steve Cussons

- We will continue to look for and encourage group Collaborations, whether ad-hoc or in a more formally organised way

We are looking forward to an exciting and stimulating year and welcome new members who would like to take part to register at OCASA. The only condition is to live and / or show connection to continental Europe.

Your thoughts / Get involved

We would like to hear from you, especially with regard to topics for talks, speaker suggestions and any questions you have about your studies. What has been good and you would like to see more of? What are we missing?

If you would like to help us run the group, we would love to have you on board. We are always looking for help in communication, planning, organizing, supporting etc., as well as potentially organizing face-to-face visits in European countries – hopefully soon.

Adelina Gelu, Gesa Helms and Brindusa Burrows have now left the core team, we thank them for their contributions. We also welcome Annalisa Mercuri, Karen Stander and Sonia Boening who have joined at the start of the summer.


Adelina, Annalisa, Annette, Brindusa, Gesa, Karen and Sonia

158 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page