David Jones, artist and poet (1895-1974) begins his PREFACE TO THE ANATHEMATA :

'I have made a heap of all that I could find.' (1) So wrote Nennius, or whoever composed the introductory matter to Historia Brittonum. He speaks of an 'inward wound' which was caused by the fear that certain things dear to him 'should be like smoke dissipated'. Further, he says, 'not trusting my own learning, which is none at all, but partly from writings and monuments of the ancient inhabitants of Britain, partly from the annals of the Romans and the chronicles of the sacred fathers, Isidore, Hieronymous, Prosper, Eusebius and from the histories of the Scots and Saxons although our enemies . . . I have lispingly put together this . . . about past transactions, that [this material] might not be trodden under foot'. (2)

(1) The actual words are coacervavi omne quod inveni, and occur in Prologue 2 to the Historia.
(2) Quoted from the translation of Prologue 1. See The Works of Gildas and Nennius, J.A.Giles, London 1841.

23 May 2009


Your correspondent has an ambivalent view of art schools : this, before and after getting the boot from the VCA/National Gallery School in 1974 : before and after an invaluable 18 months as a Media Arts student at RMIT, 2003-04.

So, was cheered to read in today's The Age (below) of rebellion in the student ranks.

Uni 'ripped heart out of VCA'
Robin Usher
May 23, 2009

CONCERN over the future of the former Victorian College of the Arts continues to grow after a graduating student was applauded at a presentation ceremony for criticising the college's takeover by Melbourne University.

Filmmaker Robbie McEwen accepted his degree last week before declaring in front of vice-chancellor Glyn Davis and other university officials at the Melbourne Recital Centre that "people could thank the University of Melbourne for ripping the heart out of the VCA".

College lecturers who were there say the applause from students and their families was long and sustained, while Professor Davis appeared stunned...

( full article here )

Also, for background :
Staff, students at former VCA in crisis meetings
Robin Usher
May 21, 2009

... But students have organised their own campaign and set up a website, savevca.org, that invites protest letters to federal Education Minister Julia Gillard. A spokeswoman for the VCA Student Union, Alison Hope, says students are also taking up the issue themselves by posting videos on YouTube...

( full article here )

the SAVE THE VCA website ( here )

Sign the SAVE THE VCA PETITION ( here )