Holland Otik: Reflections on the MA
Published on 10.12.15
“This MA has allowed me to create something that I am not only exceptionally proud of, but which has been transformative to my personal wellbeing. I now feel that I can talk about my own work and concepts, and analyse the work of others, with confidence and understanding- and that is due to Lisa’s incredible
“This MA has allowed me to create something that I am not only exceptionally proud of, but which has been transformative to my personal wellbeing. I now feel that I can talk about my own work and concepts, and analyse the work of others, with confidence and understanding- and that is due to Lisa’s incredible taught sessions which are full of positive encouragement and real, in depth, thinking. There is nothing in the world I find as satisfying as a bit of brain-ache and a cup of tea after four straight hours of object analysis (am I a freak? I think I’m a freak.)
Before I embarked on the course I knew Del, and the reason I was determined to be taught by her is that she really understands and pushes those deep, difficult conceptual ideas, and sees the importance in relating those concepts to individual material practice. She is not afraid to tell me when I need to pull my socks up and get on with it and by this point I know whether or not I should go ahead with something I’m explaining to her just by the tone of the “So” which her reply always begins with (chirpy sounding means ‘no’, serious means ‘great, lets figure it out’, just for reference).
During the course I was lucky enough to meet and be taught by Lisa, whose incredible sensitivity to material, and huge wealth of academic knowledge is mind-boggling. I don’t know how she gets it all in there, or how she stays awake for 90% of the day and is still so sharp and has so many great dresses. It’s all very impressive. I think I want to be Lisa when I grow up.
As a team, Lisa and Del have my utmost respect and appreciation as professionals and practitioners. It has been an absolute privilege to work with them and to benefit from their knowledge and commitment. The rest of the MA students have been a bottomless well of inspiration, insight, and support. I feel a bit like we’ve all just come out of the far side of a terrifying and stressful jungle together, miraculously unbitten and actually quite well fed. We’ve come a long way from my first group crit, where the front row of men flinched away from my period anecdotes and casual references to hymens, to now, when my blood-soaked ball of yarn doesn’t cause so much as a raised eyebrow (I’m just a little disappointed about that, except with Will… he’s still not 100% on board the comfort train).
At the end of it all, I understand my own mind and my path better than I imagined I could, I’m creating work which I have confidence in, I have produced a document that made someone cry (a life goal, to be sure), and I’m really just overwhelmingly grateful to everyone involved. This has been a wonderful part of my life, filled with warm and talented people, invigorating discussion, more laughter and crying than I thought physically possible, and infallible hope for the future.”