I went along to RMIT”s open day, with some trepidation. It was thirty five years, since I’d walked these hallowed halls. The place was jammed, roads closed, and an army of helpers wearing red tshirts, had descended on the usually austere end of Swanston St. Upon locating the building housing the Fine Art Degree talk I quickly darted up the stairs, only to be pursued by a youngster, wanting to know if she could help. The talk was found, it had started fifteen minutes early, and the man giving it was enthusiastic, jocular and verbose, but it put me in mind of a real estate salesman, hoping to clinch the deal. A dizzying array of facts and figures were reeled off and we were left in no doubt that RMIT, is the best Art and Design Faculty in Australia, and also boasts a stellar reputation internationally.
A whirlwind tour proceeded of the cramped sculpture studios, minuscule painting studios, and shabby printmaking facilities. Perhaps the scales have fallen from my eyes and I have recovered from the stigma of failing third year painting, back in 1979, but I just found the facilities sadly lacking, particularly compared to other Fine Art schools I have recently visited. Conversely the lecturers seemed mightily enthusiatic, the students inspired and the vibe a creative one. I gazed disconsolately at the Painting Studios and realised they weren’t for me. A cubicle the size of a wardrobe in a vast shared space with no natural light is not conducive to my art making. I can barely contain myself now in my VU studio,and my tired eyes seek daylight.