It sounds more friendly than it is. Consultation hour. You get half an hour to hang up a selection of your work in a class room. Two teachers will walk in and have a look at it, while asking you questions. All that is missing is a spot light on your face. Then they leave you to anguish for about five minutes, before coming back to give you their final verdict. To go through or not to through to the next level. Some people are told they just don't have it, some hear they are too much and some are too young, some too old...
What happened with me? Well, I had a dream earlier in the year that I missed the consultation hour and therefore I didn't make it through. So I got there very early in the afternoon by car. I had all the time in the world to carry everything upstairs without breaking out in a sweat. I figured out where my room was and left all my works by the door. Then I had plenty of time to help the others. Some arrived late and very nervous. It was nice to feel calm instead and help them set up their room. It took my mind of my own nerves. I knew that I was going to be judged by the teacher who had been so harsh to me in the beginning of the year. When I found out, I tried to switch with another student, but she was afraid to jinx her own admission. In retrospect, I thought it would be interesting to end this cycle of classes with the first and most critical teacher. Time to face my fears. Would I be strong enough to deal with her rejection? Yes I would. I decided to see the consultation hour as an opportunity for me to display all the work from one year, and to just feel proud of this accomplishment, no matter what judgment I would get.
The teachers walked around, asked critical questions, like 'how do you feel about an assignment?', 'are you able to deal with criticism?' and ''tell us something about this penis, and why it is hanging there so prominently?'.
I mostly tried to express my happiness to have chosen to do this orientation year. It has brought me much. New insights about my work, and myself. I never knew most good things happen while you’re not paying attention. So now I can stop trying so hard!
They left me alone in the room, to deliberate about my fate. It was tempting to think the worst, but I didn’t. Instead I looked out of the window and saw the blue sky, the trees, the clouds... And all was good, right here, in that moment.
The teachers had doubts about me as an artist. Making art at Rietveld is no personal therapy. It is not about what I learn as a human being, it’s only about what I am communicating to the world and how I do that. But they want to give me the benefit of the doubt and let the admission committee of DOGtime decide about my suitability for Rietveld Art School.
Nevertheless, I am happy to have passed the first hurdle. Harsh teacher was not so harsh after all. There was no review of my work however. And I still don’t know how they are really judging it.