Let the Curiosity Lead Your Way

Richard Haughton_RCA 283 RCA Battersea campus

Richard Haughton_RCA 283 RCA Battersea campus

ART.ZIP: With regard to the learning process, do you think there are any differences?

JS: Yes, students are expected to learn in quite a different way. I was taught in very traditional and academic system, so I learned to draw through life drawing, and even there the kinds of classes I took were often contradictory. Some people were trying to teach me to draw very accurately, a certain kind of accuracy, in terms of spatial drawing. And then other people were encouraging me to draw with your eyes closed, with spaces between things. It was completely different. On our foundation course, you would be given very different models of what to draw. I think that is the major difference. For people to understand that can be quite challenging, and it can affect confidence, because they think, ‘Oh I don’t know where to go, I’ll get lost’. If given fundamental skills, people begin to trust the process, which unfolds over time.

You have to find your own way. But obviously you are doing that with a lot of support. We foster strong staff-student relationships, put people together and talk about these things all the time as well. If you can create strong mentor-style relationships, it helps individuals to find their own paths. You have to come to your own understanding, uncover the ways in which you yourself work best; people think in such different ways. Some people think conceptually, they want to work out what they are doing before they do it, and then they find the way to do it, acknowledging that there are always changes along the way when you make anything, because you can never have complete understanding in your head before something has been done. Other people work on hunches, without a plan; sometimes they don’t know what they’re making until it is done.

ART.ZIP: 對於知識的吸收或學習過程,您有發現任何不同的地方嗎?

JS: 那是肯定的,我們也鼓勵學生通過不同的方式來學習。我當初是在一個非常傳統的學術環境下學習的,我通過寫生來學習繪畫,而上課的老師們經常有著相互矛盾、大相徑庭的教學方式:有些老師教我非常精確的繪畫方法,例如透視畫法;而別的老師則會鼓勵我閉上眼睛來創作。在基礎課程上,你會學習到不同的繪畫方法。我想這是主要的區別。讓學生們理解可能有點困難,這可能會影響他們的自信心,因為他們常常會擔心應該如何做才好。如果是只傳授基本功,慢慢地他們就能吸收并理解了。


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