Cherwell College Oxford Art Series: Exploring Artistic Inspiration and Teaching Practices with Graham Coles

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Graham Coles, a seasoned artist and dedicated tutor at Cherwell College Oxford, recently engaged in an interview, shedding light on his creative process and teaching methodologies.

Cherwell College Oxford Art Series: With over three decades of experience in teaching Art & Design, Graham is revered for his compassionate approach towards students. Having completed his MA from the prestigious Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford, Graham brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to his role as an educator.

Cherwell College Oxford Art Series

When questioned about his artistry, Graham confessed to a diverse and ever-evolving style. He described his tendency to explore various artistic approaches, from abstract to figurative works, driven by a perpetual quest to starve off creative stagnation. This fluidity in his artistic expression sets him apart from many artists who adhere to a singular style.

In terms of inspiration, Graham draws primarily from his imagination, citing enigmatic experiences and cinematic imagery as sources of creative fuel. Despite the common belief that artists often seek inspiration through travel, Graham expressed a preference for drawing from memory and imagination rather than directly from landscapes, underscoring the spontaneity and unpredictability inherent in his creative process.

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As a mentor to aspiring artists, Graham emphasises the importance of encouraging students to experiment with different media. Encouraging students not to give up and refine their work to discover its potential is also an important part of Graham’s role as a mentor. Graham’s dedication to student development is evident as he navigates the intricacies of exam preparation and curriculum changes, always striving to provide guidance and support.

This year, Graham has decided to switch from Edexcel to the OCR exam board accreditation for his A-Level students. This switch reflects his commitment to providing students with a more experimental and artistically enriching experience. By aligning with OCR, Graham aims to foster a curriculum that encourages creative exploration and innovation, ultimately empowering students to express themselves authentically. The decision not only reflects Graham’s dedication to enhancing the educational experience but also highlights his advocacy for a curriculum that prioritises artistic integrity and student-centred learning.

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The interview also touched upon Graham’s involvement in an upcoming student exhibition for International Art Week. He expressed enthusiasm for showcasing student artwork, highlighting the significance of validation, and celebrating their creative endeavours. Graham’s commitment to fostering a supportive environment where students feel empowered to display their work underscores his role not only as a teacher but also as a mentor and advocate for student artists.

In conclusion, Graham Cole’s interview offers valuable insights into the dynamic interplay between artistic creativity and teaching practices. His unwavering dedication to nurturing student talent, coupled with his willingness to explore new artistic avenues, exemplifies the multifaceted nature of the art world.

Discover more from the Cherwell College Oxford Art Series here:

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A Palette of Possibilities: Oxford’s Inspiration for GCSE & A-Level Students with artist Dorothy Megaw

Admissions now open for September (I)GCSE & A-Level intake: Discover more here.