I am beginning to understand this part of the work, this assignment section, is to help signpost this work for assessment and feedback.
I continue to respond to the final comment on my assessment feedback for ATV:
‘It is clear that you felt you owned the course and the work coming from it – I suggest you continue to work with the same energy and freedom in your subsequent courses.’
I believe I am staying true to this.
At the end of this Part 3 of MMT I feel I have made another huge leap forward in learning what I am doing with this course – both in process and concept.
To use the assessment criteria:
Demonstration of technical and visual skills:
I came to this part with no previous experience of moulding or casting bar my own school day experiments in class, plasticene and playdoh. It was therefore necessary to undertake some research in process, but I also didn’t want to limit myself by doing ‘the right’ things. Sometimes the most felicitous of samples occur when something goes wrong, and also by seeing what happens if, and observing carefully, taking note – I can either repeat or modify the process next time.
I worked with materials that were initially readily available: air-drying clay, paper-based modelling clay, plaster of Paris and wax.
I later added clear drying resin to my range and obtained the most exciting results from these by not following instructions and creating cracks, shears, ‘fault lines’ and substantial heat. A new tool that has lifted the range of drawing available to me is the 3D pen. I can lift my drawing and writing off the page. This is very exciting for me and full of potential.
As usual I have continued to refine, experiment with, and expand my observational skills through using my camera, drawing app and sketches as tools. I have also added a film making app that will collate photos into a slide show.
Initially the samples conveyed process and texture, form and feature. However, when I started combining techniques and actually composing forms then meaning began to be emerge and a sense of communication developed.
It is in combination that this Part really evolved as a design process for me, as I was able to move from showing visual and technical skills to communicating ideas.
Quality of Outcome:
As samples have developed I have been better prepared to realise my ideas and present them in a less amateur fashion. I have worked particularly hard on selecting and making professional judgments that move me away from an ‘everything’ approach to a ‘What is this saying? What is it asking? Which piece suggests the most? Which pieces best represent me and what I am trying to communicate? Although at first this felt alien – I have done all this work, surely I’m supposed to show it all as in ATV- I have now tried to leave considerable reflection time between pieces, their selection, my construction of the narrative around these pieces, and finally this review. Going to galleries more regularly and reading the blogs of some final year students has helped impress on me the importance of selection. The chosen works will not represent the whole process, but will be a sum of its parts. At this stage in my studies I still need to make explicit those component parts, but show I am working towards understanding how to present the final formula, question or sum as it were.
I have shared samples on the forum for critique and am always hugely supported by comments on my blog, this is both encouraging and challenging as I can see the impact of my work on audience, and the return impact on my work of their feedback. It is like a spiralling dance. There is discernment in the final chosen sequence, all the slips, trips and falls and trodden toes are part of the process.
Demonstration of Creativity:
During the latter weeks of my work on this course there has been much discussion on the forum concerning ‘personal voice’. This has been a very insightful thread. My initial concept of this part was to consider the moulding and casting as metaphorical. I had to learnt he techniques and processes to mould and cast. But I was concerned about moving beyond simply creating surface texture. I wanted to consider what surface and why. There were interesting transition points where moulding and casting became one and the same – in that samples evolved that needed both processes, or the material was used for both processes. This gave me the consideration of inner and outer surfaces. As I worked with different materials and techniques I tried to keep at the forefront of my mind a kind of analytical sieve that allowed everything to be sampled, but only certain sampling to be recycled and taken further. For example, when I was rewarded with the unexpected success of the t-shirt plaster cast I recognised I had a beginning sample that could offer visual, tactile impact but was also capable of conveying more.
With the addition of layers of features and the excitement of trying to write the language of the inner surface of my mind, I feel that process, technique, material and meaning started to work together to present intention, question and this metaphorical understanding of surface.
I believe that the resin, the 3D pen, the notion of asemic writing, Henri Michaux, Louise Bourgeois, psychoanalysis, neurophenomenology, inner landscapes, internal language…all these have advanced my innovations on the focus ‘Molding and casting’.
I have tried to be far more refined in my presentation of the contextual research that I thoroughly enjoy in order to make the narrative of my process in this part far more clear. I have joined in and initiated discussions on the forum concerning asemic texts, the tactile nature of art and its non-handling, what drawing is to contemporary practitioners, where we are as innovators and artists in the timescale of textile art and where I can go next. I am still passionate about creating art that is interactive, possible to handle, asks questions about current concepts and understanding not just in the art world but in the world of Science, Psychology and education. I feel privileged to be in a field that allows me to walk roughshod over many traditional domain boundaries: Sculpture, Photography, Fine Art, Visual Communication to name a few. Whilst many many artists that I have enjoyed researching have paved the way for me to be here today, and many others are pulling on the same strands of inspiration and imagination as me, there are artists with whom I feel a resonance which encourages and inspires me, but there are artists too whom I feel repellant. This likewise is a pointer. There is still much unchartered territory in this domain of Textiles. And that excites me. Where does my making currently sit in the contemporary field? The image that pops into my mind is of paddling a hand-carved wooden canoe on a river of mercury with fishing rods trailing behind and nets strung onto kites floating above me. I can see the shore and the mountains behind, but I’m paddling with the tide out to the vast space of the open sea.