BA Ceramics

Not the same as any other

This year’s art graduates stand apart from previous years. As with all graduating students from CSAD ceramics they will be remembered for their breadth of skills, honed across three years of study, the ability to analyse the attributes of peers in ceramics and wider arts practice, and for a clear understanding of their contribution to the field. As with all our graduates they have worked consistently to secure this knowledge.

What makes this year distinct, is how students have already moved beyond this expectation.

On the 24th March, the rising threat of a global pandemic caused the final preparations for the degree show to halt. At 4pm in line with government edict, students were asked to leave the university campus and self-isolate.

Separated from the very individual studio spaces, communal areas and ceramics facilities they had used over the past year to develop their final body of artwork, students were stunned, caught out by the impact of this extraordinary event on their continued education. Everyone in the art school, everyone everywhere, entered a period of flux and uncertainty.

For our students, alongside the very human response of fear and concern for family, grew frustration at the prospect of their degree being cut short, their hard work unrecognised, at worst an erosion of the very foundation on which their future professional prospects could build.

Art students across the globe found themselves in this same predicament.

After a period of working through the possibilities for completing their course, students began to recognise what this situation required. That in addition to the usual ‘deliverables’ for assessment: a consolidation of skills, independence of idea and contextual alignment –– they need to master the higher achievement attributes of problem-solving, flexibility of thinking and adaptability of practice that often takes artists years to attain.

The graduating students of 2020 are not the same as any other.

How we might again encourage such radical shifts in perspective, nurture flexibility of thought, encourage adaptability and confidence in seizing material equivalence whilst still sharpening understanding of material specific concerns, requires far more space than I have here to properly understand. But as educators we must learn how to nurture such strength and resilience outside of extreme circumstance.

The students’ portfolios now contain what all employers, recruitment officers of MA’s PGCE’s and Creative Residency programmes would be delighted to receive: a demonstration of innovation of practice and mind.

Belonging to the generation of art students completing their studies during COVID19 should be recognised as a badge of honour, a distinction that sets them apart from all preceding years, a celebration of how an extraordinary situation can require and forge extraordinary attributes.

Yr un fath ag unrhyw

Mae graddedigion celf eleni yn sefyll ar wahân i flynyddoedd blaenorol. Fel gyda phob myfyriwr sy'n graddio mewn cerameg o YGDC byddant yn cael eu cofio am eu ehangder sgiliau, hogi ar draws tair blynedd o astudio, y gallu i ddadansoddi priodoleddau cyfoedion mewn cerameg ac ymarfer celfyddydol ehangach, ac am ddealltwriaeth glir o'u cyfraniad i'r maes. Fel gyda'n holl raddedigion, maent wedi gweithio'n gyson i sicrhau'r wybodaeth hon.

Yr hyn sy'n gwneud eleni'n wahanol, yw sut mae myfyrwyr eisoes wedi symud y tu hwnt i'r disgwyliad hwn.

Ar 24 Mawrth, achosodd bygythiad cynyddol pandemig byd-eang y paratoadau terfynol ar gyfer y sioe gradd i ben. Am 4pm yn unol ag EDICT y Llywodraeth, gofynnwyd i fyfyrwyr adael campws y brifysgol a hunan-ynysu.

Wedi'u gwahanu o fannau stiwdio unigol iawn, mannau cymunedol a chyfleusterau cerameg yr oeddent wedi'u defnyddio yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf i ddatblygu eu corff terfynol o waith celf, cafodd myfyrwyr eu syfrdanu, a'u dal allan gan effaith y digwyddiad anghyffredin hwn ar eu haddysg barhaus. Aeth pawb yn yr ysgol gelf, pawb ym mhobman, i gyfnod o fflwcs ac ansicrwydd.

I'n myfyrwyr, ynghyd â'r ymateb dynol iawn o ofn a phryder i'r teulu, daeth teimlad o rwystredigaeth ar ôl i'w gradd gael ei chwtogi, nid oedd eu gwaith caled, ar y gwaethaf, yn erydu'r union sylfaen y gallai eu rhagolygon proffesiynol ar gyfer y dyfodol adeiladu arni.

Roedd myfyrwyr celf ledled y byd yn cael eu hunain yn yr un sefyllfa.

Ar ôl cyfnod o weithio drwy'r posibiliadau ar gyfer cwblhau eu cwrs, dechreuodd y myfyrwyr gydnabod beth oedd angen y sefyllfa hon. Hynny yn ogystal â'r ' cyflawniadau ' arferol ar gyfer asesu: cyfuno sgiliau, annibyniaeth syniad a chysoni cyd-destunol – Mae angen iddynt feistroli'r nodweddion cyflawnia uwch, sef datrys problemau, hyblygrwydd o ran meddwl a'r gallu i addasu arferion sy'n aml yn peri bod artistiaid yn cael blynyddoedd i'w cyflawni.

Nid yw myfyrwyr sy'n graddio o 2020 yn union yr un fath ag unrhyw rai eraill.

Mae'r ffordd y gallem unwaith eto annog newidiadau radical o'r fath mewn persbectif, meithrin hyblygrwydd meddwl, annog addasadwyedd a hyder i ymafael mewn deunydd cyfatebol tra'n dal i fireinio dealltwriaeth o bryderon penodol am ddeunydd, yn gofyn am lawer mwy o le nag sydd gennyf yma i'w ddeall yn iawn. Ond fel addysgwyr rhaid inni ddysgu sut i feithrin y fath gryfder a chadernid y tu allan i amgylchiadau eithafol.

Erbyn hyn, mae portffolios y myfyrwyr yn cynnwys yr hyn y byddai pob cyflogwr, swyddogion recriwtio MA, TAR a'r rhaglenni Preswyliaeth Greadigol, yn falch iawn o'u cael: dangos blaengaredd o ran ymarfer a meddwl.

Dylai'r rhai sy'n perthyn i'r genhedlaeth o fyfyrwyr celf sy'n cwblhau eu hastudiaethau yn ystod COVID19 gael eu cydnabod fel bathodyn anrhydedd, gwahaniaeth sy'n eu gosod ar wahân i'r holl flynyddoedd blaenorol, dathliad o sut y gall sefyllfa ryfeddol ei gwneud yn ofynnol a ffurfio priodoleddau anghyffredin.

Exhibitors: