Study event review: OCA North

Updated: Jun 28

OCA-North Study Group Event 19th of June 2022- held in Dean Clough Mills, Halifax, West Yorkshire. Written and compiled by Helen Jones (OCA- North Coordinator).

Before getting down to the focused part of our meeting with tutor Bryan Eccleshall, we met in the café to have lunch. This important time was an opportunity to get to know each other and find out, that here is a bunch of people just like us who all love talking about making work, whether it is drawing, writing, sculpture, painting, or photography.


Replete with great food and coffee we found Bryan addressing the technical side of his presentation. During the first COVID lockdown Bryan made a series of short videos about art practice and uploaded them to Facebook and Instagram. They tackled all sorts of issues, based on whatever occurred to him. There was no real plan, but a lot of the films dealt with issues Bryan had encountered while tutoring for OCA for about eight years. There were seventeen of these videos to choose from, but we only watched a few as our discussions were so expansive and interesting. We were able to relate the subject matter to our own practice and experiences which helped us all. Here are some comments about the event from fellow students:


Sunday saw me attending my first study visit since joining the OCA in April 2021 and I was unsure what to expect. I knew that being a small group it was likely that I would be the only Creative Writing student, but what I wasn't expecting, was how many areas of common interest we had, despite all being on very different pathways and at different stages of our courses. Bryan was great, his videos were interesting and sparked lots of conversation around creative practice. I left the event feeling very inspired. I think these sorts of events are so important in making us feel less isolated, and I look forward to attending more in the future (Janet)


I thoroughly enjoyed meeting a new set of faces at our meet up on Sunday and such a

change being the only photographer there. It was really interesting to hear what people

were doing across a range of disciplines. Thanks too to Bryan Eccleshall for an inspiring

presentation and the wide- ranging discussion that took place afterwards. (Lynda)


I found the second face-to-face meeting of OCA North led by Dr Bryan Eccleshall inspiring, encouraging, and good fun. It was good to meet all the other students from different disciplines. I found the videos that Bryan had made during lock down useful and have a few take- home messages that I'm trying to put into practice:


• If you have an idea - just do it so that you have something to look at

• copy an artist's work, then compare and contrast your work next to it.

• have a plural practice (Gill)


This was a great afternoon, sitting in a room with other students and then with the tutor,

Bryan, sharing his thoughts and work so generously. I showed a photo of some of my 3D

work and it was such an uplifting experience to have others see it and then have Bryan say "Yay, having a red chilli to represent a heart! A good idea." I felt my endeavours were

acknowledged and then I was encouraged to continue to play and develop my work. I left feeling inspired and nicely provoked, if you know what I mean? (Andrea)


As you can see OCA North meetings are worthwhile attending for various reasons, so if

you have been hesitating, I hope you are now feeling you could join us sometime soon.

Our next meeting is on Sunday 10th July at 1pm via zoom.


Details below.

https://oca.zoom.us/j/94146735504?pwd=RnJkbFgvMkNoTGl5a1JMelg5T0V5UT09


Meeting ID: 941 4673 5504

Passcode: 061575

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