Thursday, 9 June 2011

The End of an Era

I'm feeling a little lost, in shock, confused. Last night, along with all my fellow students, I received the news that the Julia Caprara School of Textile Arts ceased trading as of yesterday. My degree course no longer exists.

For the past four years this has been a major part of my life - everything has revolved around degree work. It was the result of a lifelong ambition to take an arts degree and I have loved every minute.

There have been times it has been so all consuming that I've felt as though I've wanted to give it all up, but that feeling never lasted long. I have learned so much and been stretched in directions I never thought possible. I've discovered new artists and new ways of working. It has taken my work places I never imagined. It has enriched my life.



I was looking forward to starting my dissertation in September and excited that in less than two years I would be having a degree show in a London gallery. And now I feel that has all been taken away.

Middlesex university has an obligation to provide a suitable alternative to all its students yet it remains to be seen whether this will be a viable option - it is unlikely to be distance learning which I have found to be best for fitting around my work and family commiments and I would imagine the cost will go up too.

I know the time and money invested so far have not been wasted - I have already gained so much - but it feels incomplete. I have already decided to continue with some of the work I have started for my current module, but without the tutition, while I see what the future will hold. Somehow and somewhere I know I want to finish this degree.

But I do feel numb, lost without direction. I'm trying to embrace the change and take the chance of some time to focus on other things - the numerous half finished projects, my garden, open studios... even myself. I have been tired for four years!

Even this blog was started as a way for me to record my progress through the degree... I never really saw it lasting more than the six years of the course... but I don't think I'm ready to abandon it just yet. Guess the tagline on my header will have to be changed.

The photographs are a random selection of things I've done over the past four years - just a tiny selection because I have done so much. (One job to do is sort out all the photographs!)

Some are just samples or works in progress others are finished projects.

I guess none of us knows what the future may hold.



I would like to to finish by thanking Winy and Willem Smit and Sandra Flower, who when the original school Opus closed a little over two years ago, stepped in and founded the new school, investing heavily of their time and own money. They have worked tirelessly to make it work providing excellent course material and tutors and yet circumstances beyond their control have forced this decision. Yesterday was a sad day for a lot of people, especially them.

70 comments:

  1. Sorry about your course, it is a bit of a shock but I will keep my fingers crossed for you and the other students. You picked yourself up after Opus closed so lets hope that some how it can continue in some way that you will be able to fulfil everything you have been working so hard for.

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  2. My heart sank reading this post. I have enjoyed reading all about your journey through the course. It has been a privilge that you chose to share so much of your work with us especially when you have the risk of been copied by those with no scrupples. I hope you are able to continue with your degree. It has been a real pleasure to watch as your work progressed.

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  3. Gina you must feel like the rug has been pulled out from under your feet but you have already learnt so much to set you well on your way in your creative life. Keep on exprimenting and playing and signing up for coures that take you fancy. One door closes but another, much bigger and more ornate one flies open for you to leap through. Enjoy the flight! Moira xx

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  4. Oh, Gina, I am so shocked to hear that. Please don't give up on getting your degree. Your creativity and endless enthusiasm are such an inspiration.

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  5. Gina, that's rotten news and of course you're upset and concerned, but if Middlesex have an obligation to see you right, I'm sure they will. They are a good university and I'm sure all the work you've put in so far won't be wasted in any way. Hopefully you'll hear quite quickly what their proposal is and I hope it's something you can accept and then get going again quickly. Fingers crossed.

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  6. I hope it all works out well for you. I love reading your blog.

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  7. I am so sorry Gina, I cant start to understand how terrible this is for you...my prayer is that an alternative will be found and that it will not be at extra cost, this wasnt your fault and you shouldnt have to pay...poor you...sending love...H

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  8. in time, this too will make sense. you make beautiful work gina and that will continue...

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  9. Gina - how utterly jaw dropping is this, you must feel so wretched. Its so unfair when you have a group of people who actually WANT to do the studies. Keep hold of your dreams, you never know this could end up a sideways move for the better.

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  10. Can understand how shocking it must have been for you to get that news. You creations are wonderful and I am sure the last four years have filled you will lots to take forward. Good luck with your next course when you find it. :)

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  11. Gina. I hope by now you have had the new"glimmer of hope" email. Your work is beautiful though. I cannot wait for the open studio. Amanda

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  12. I well remember how betrayed I felt when the college hosting my C&G course closed it down for no longer fitting its model. Luckily it was picked up elsewhere, but it shook me up a lot. I really hope and pray that either Middlesex picks it up or that it is picked up by another body. But, whatever happens, keep on exploring and experimenting and learning, which I'm sure you will do.
    When you commit to a course, you expect the host to make a commitment to you and that's what hurts, that that wasn't there. It feels like a broken contract.
    What sad times. Hugs and love x

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  13. I am so sorry for you Gina - I can't imagine how you are feeling right now. Your work is inspirational for me, and I'm sure, many others. I really hope you manage to find a resolution which at least allows you to finish your degree and gain the achievement you most surely deserve. :) x

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  14. Gina, I am so sorry to hear your news,such short notice too.All the innovative work you have shared with us has been inspirational and a joy to see,please don't give up bloging you are always first on my list to look at.
    See you Saturday I hope.

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  15. How awful. I would feel so sick. Let's hope an alternative is found. But do keep up the blog it is so inspiring to us all.

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  16. Oh Gina - that's terrible. I have enjoyed following the progress of your degree so so much - can't imagine how bereft you must feel. Hope you can find a way to continue your studies.

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  17. Oh that's terrible Gina. I feel I have gone along on your journey and have really enjoyed sharing your exploration of art. How sad that such a thing is allowed to happen. x

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  18. OMG what a shock for you and no warning by the sound of it. I've so enjoyed your journey hope you find something to replace it.,

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  19. I feel so sorry for you and all the students! Really don't know what to say other than don't give up hope!

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  20. WELL said, Gina.
    Everything you say in this post, I feel the very same.

    I am still numb about it all.
    I was to graduate next June - and I live in Canada. This degree work has enriched and stretched my art making so much. I never did it for the piece of paper, but still, I can't imagine not receiving one.

    Fingers crossed that everything works out for us and the other students and for the dedicated staff of Julia Caprara School of Textile Arts.

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  21. WELL said, Gina.
    Everything you say in this post, I feel the very same.

    I am still numb about it all.
    I was to graduate next June - and I live in Canada. This degree work has enriched and stretched my art making so much. I never did it for the piece of paper, but still, I can't imagine not receiving one.

    Fingers crossed that everything works out for us and the other students and for the dedicated staff of Julia Caprara School of Textile Arts.

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  22. I am truly sorry to hear this - it's a terrible blow.

    Frances

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  23. Gina, sorry to hear the mews about your course, I hope something can be found for you to continue with your degree

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  24. That's so sad, I'm really sorry for you and all the other students who've been let down. Hope something even better comes along for you.

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  25. Wow - that's terrible Gina -- I'm so sorry. I'm betting something good will come along soon for all your talent!

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  26. What a rotten thing to happen, Gina. Hope something will turn up.

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  27. Such a sad thing to happen, Gina. No wonder you are feeling as you do, and wondering what will happen now. I hope it all works out for you and the other students. Hugs

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  28. Gosh, Gina, this is awful! Did you and your fellow students have any idea that the school was about to close?

    I do hope that Middlesex University or some other auspices will decide to continue the course with the good faculty.

    Whatever happens, rest assured that your creativity is intact...they can't take that away from you!

    xo

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  29. Oh no. I can't even begin to imagine how you must feel. But please don't give up on your degree. There must be a way.

    K x

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  30. A sad time in deed. Let's hope a suitable alternative at a reasonable cost is found so that you can continue. Some beautiful work.

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  31. Just in from work and can hardly believe what I have just read. SO SORRY........ At the moment I think all you can do is take your own advice/thoughts and finish off lots of unfinished projects and sort your photos until, hopefully, somebody comes up with a solution.

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  32. I can understand your shock, you've put so much effort into the course. I hope that something will be sorted out soon and that you will be able to continue with your degree.

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  33. I'm really sorry to hear your news, it must be a terrible shock and disappointment at the moment. I'm sure that something will come up that will enable you to continue somehow. You're a very talented lady, somehow there's a way forwards.

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  34. Oh Gina - what a catastrophe. I would be devastated yet you sound so positive - probably moreso than you feel right now. I do hope something can be arranged for you and the other students who are still part way through the degree course, and that you will be able to see it through and claim your well earned qualification. Hold on - fingers crossed that something will turn up. I enjoyed seeing all the photos of your work over the past few years - such a variety.

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  35. NOOOOO! And after all the hassle with Opus, and your recent heartsearching after the last module. Argh. That is just completely AWFUL. Is there anything I can do? Tea?

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  36. Gina, I am so sorry about your course. After all the hard work you and others have done, to have everything stopped must be devastating.
    Hopefully something else suitable will be put in place for you all. Please keep up the blog if you can and let us all know how you are getting along.
    Take Care Helen

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  37. Oh Gina, you must feel so upset :-( I do feel that most things in life do really have a silver lining, goodness knows what yours will be but I am sure it will show in time. Take care. xxx

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  38. What an awful shock for you and the other students - I just saw Judy's comment over on her blog. As you say, none of that time has been wasted because of all you've learnt, but you must feel that the final prize has been snatched from you. Do hope the Uni finds a suitable alternative - good luck.

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  39. What a rotten thing to happen,I really hope that they keep to their word and sort something out for you all.Definately time well spent though.

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  40. Poor you Gina, your work is amazing and i have been so pleased to see it taking shape. i do hope that what ever the University offers it is a workable solution for you. Keeping my fingers crossed for you. hugs Jane x

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  41. I am so sorry Gina. You must feel like you're in limbo at the moment and not sure what direction to go in. Not much comfort but I do send you hugs and hope positive things come out of it and look forward to hearing with interest where you go next. Carolx

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  42. Oh Gina what dreadful news, I can't believe it - after all that hard work you've done. I really hope they manage to sort out an alternative venue for you that isn't too awkward or costly xx

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  43. So many comments already Gina, I can't believe it! Sending you hugs and the strength to carry on, whatever way possible, your work is too brilliant not to! x

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  44. What a shame Gina, I love your work and hope you find a way to continue with your studies.
    Twiggy x

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  45. Good to see you today but sad news. It will take time for the news to really sink in; I do feel for you. The future will unfold gradually and let's hope good will come from this. Enjoy Missenden x

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  46. How upsetting Gina for you and everyone concerned. I am sure you will find a way through this new challenge and I hope you get the chance to finish your degree. As you say, you've achieved so much in personal growth so nothing is ever wasted. Sending you a hug xx

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  47. I was just trying to catch up on some of my blog reading and I was so shocked to hear your news about your course. You must be (and all the other students) 'well and trully gutted' as the youngsters say. I have enjoyed following the path you have taken on your learning journey.

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  48. so very sorry to hear this Gina
    (( x ))
    You are right though that the 4 years you have done is not at all wasted and all the wonderful pictures you have posted prove this, but i understand your desire to complete your degree and body of work. i shall pray that a quick and satisfactory solution is found for you and your fellow students.
    Thanks for birthday wishes and lovely comment on my blog today.
    Warmly Ginny x

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  49. What a terrible blow after all the hard work you've done to date. No wonder you feel gutted. Please don't give up on the blog, its lovely to see your work and share creativity and encouragement.
    I'm doing my C&G through the School of Stitched Textiles, and I think they picked up some of the students when Opus closed, perhaps they could help you with the Degree if Middlesex Uni don't come to the party.

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  50. What can I say that hasn't already been said? Devastating news Gina especially as you have worked so hard, although certainly not in vain. Fingers crossed that a solution is round the corner - and don't even consider giving up the blogging we would all be totally lost without you. :)

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  51. What a blow for you Gina but I am sure when the shock waves have passed you will find some way to continue.

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  52. So sorry to read this... it is sad news indeed, and a huge shock. I do hope you and your fellow students can find a way through this.

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  53. What a shock I was so suprised to read that they had ceased trading,I was very keen to go down this route of tuiton after following your blog. I hope that they find a suitable solution for you especially as you are so close to finishing. Please keep blogging
    you are such an inspiration

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  54. That is such a shame Gina I'm sure you feel a bit lost at the minute.
    Hopefully some solution will materialize which will suit you and you can complete your degree.
    Vivienne x

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  55. Gina, Don't you dare change that blog header. You've started this degree and you will finish it because Middlesex will have to find a 'like for like' way of making that happen. You are not alone and if all your fellow students stick together a rescue plan will happen I'm sure. Stay positive and stay working towards the goal you have been focussed on for four tiring years because your work is fabulous and you will get your just reward!! Lesley x

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  56. I can't believe how you've been left like this, you must be absolutely devastated.

    I do so hope it all gets sorted out in a way that suits you.

    xxx

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  57. I can only begin to imagine how you feel. All your blog readers have seen how much has ben invested in this and I really hope you can transfer.

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  58. Oh Gina, how utterly terrible - I can see how you would be feeling completely numb with shock, after all those hours and years of hard work and all of yourself that you've poured into your stitching. I really feel for you and do hope that it is resolved, somehow, and soon.

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  59. What a dreadful thing to have happened but looking at your work, you quite obviously have a gift that Julia herself would have found joyful to see.
    So let this be a hurdle and move on in any case!
    I have a degree and have never been asked specifically what grade I got or to show the certificate!
    Your work is fabulous proof of your commitment and creativity, and frankly it sings your praises far more then any final result could.
    But yes, the anti climax of this must be hard to bear although now you can opt to research things that fascinate you, for the sheer sake of that fascination and not for any deadline!
    Take heart

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  60. Gina, what an awful shock for you. Someting positive must come out of this, I am sure. Best wishes Lesley

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  61. Hi Gina,
    I'm so sorry to hear this.
    You have produced some wonderful work and I have everything crossed for you that it works out.
    It would be such a shame not to see all your work displayed.
    I think you should contact The Knitting & Stitching show to see if they would display students work.

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  62. so sorry Gina - it really is awful - wish i could help - Janice

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  63. Oh, Gina--I'm SO sorry to hear your news. I fervently hope that a solution will be found that works for you and your family. Sighhhh...
    so sad. Hugs to you--

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  64. I've really enjoyed seeing your degree work over the last few years and. I hope there will be some kind of positive outcome for you course wise, and that you'll be able to continue with this somehow.

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  65. I can't tell you how sorry I am about the course closing. I can understand your frustration about wanting a sense of completion. I know you will draw strength form the fact that what you have done so far has helped you to grow so much as an artist. The best of luck for the future

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  66. Thanks for commenting on my post earlier, this is the first time I have visited you, and I'm really sorry to hear your devastating news. I can't imagine how I would feel in your position, after all the hard work and passion you have poured into your course so far. Hope it works out for you, Jenny xx

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  67. I have just read this post Gina and it must have been such a shock to you. Surely there must be somewhere you can continue your course when you were doing so well and at the same time inspiring us all? I do hope there will be a rescue package somewhere.

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  68. I can hardly believe that this has happened. I'm so so sorry. You must have felt truly dreadful when you heard the news, Gina. We have all watched in awe whilst you created amazing works and stretched so many media to their limits (including those Sainsbury's bags). I so hope Middlesez University will be able to provide for you.

    I hope you can enjoy the rest of your weekend xx

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  69. Oh Gina, I am sorry to hear that news. I really hope something can be resolved. Lucy xx

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