Assignment 5

This being my self-assessment/ reflection review against assessment criteria

Firstly, this assignment aims to build on the on-going feedback from my tutor to condense and be selective with content. I am still struggling with this but hope to show my progress and intention to continually improve.

1: Demonstration of technical and visual skills

I came to this part with a review of all the processes I have learnt for this module. I collated all my images and selected out those which seemed either not fully explored or still seemed to hold potential. I also gathered all the key words for me from this module. Initially I felt I wanted to push the 3d aspect from my energy drawings in order to realise the enquiry: ‘How do I externalise the inner language of my concealed surfaces?’I spent some time working on energy drawings and paintings as preparation, but what became paramount was not simply the composition and use of line and colour – but the actual application of medium. ‘(I didn’t get the raised drip I was looking for with the pva but I did gain a singing intensity of colour that retains a shine).’ Experiments (successful and otherwise) enabled me to hone the visual effect I was after and to practice technical skills – which I then expanded on to the 3d plane. This then sent me of on more research for artists who use wrapping and assemblage in order to start sampling forms using a number of wrapping techniques with varying weights for visual effect. I felt I had perhaps uncovered the technique which I wished to explore in my final piece, but I sat with it an waited as it still didn’t seem resonant or pushed far enough. A timely visit to Estuary 16 Festival helped me realise what I was missing – depth and voice – I had been avoiding the bloodied wounds even though they speak most loudly to me due to the dilemma they had thrown up in my feedback to part 4. However, researching Imran Qureshi opened doors and I recognised what it was I needed to do and thus the processes and technical skills that I could draw on from the course that would allow me to do this. Paper folding, namely pleating and printing suddenly fell into the spotlight and all the previous work on this part was merely scaffold to this point. Posts that detail this include: ‘What I’ve been up to’, ‘Experimental’ , ‘Folding’ and finally ‘Sample Making.’ All this work led to me being able to refine and develop the printing, pleating and joining necessary to deliver the impact of my final piece prototype.

2: Quality of outcome

On part 4 of MMT I received my lowest feedback assessment in this area ‘Competent realisation of ideas- satisfaction presentation of work’. This urgently needed addressing, since in my assessment for ATV I received 60% for this criteria (which was my weakest area then out of all criteria). It is evidently still an area I need to work on as on this course it would appear I’ve fallen even further behind! Feedback suggests this is with regards to sorting and selecting; and condensing and refining my learning log. I write too much and take too many photos. I need to learn how to curate my work. I still need a better understanding of what is expected of me here. I hope that in this Part I have redressed some of these concerns, tightening my blog entries and numbers, and as I discerned my line of enquiry I have become more selective and competent with regards to presenting my work in a coherent manner. Nevertheless, I have much more practice to do on this and I believe this will be an on-going area for development as I mature as an arts student, I am not yet there. But ‘yet’ is a powerful word…

3: Demonstration of Creativity

When I found the meeting of motive and process, purpose and presentation it was no small epiphany. I comprehended the criticism of my tutor in Part 4 and gained a tangible experience of creative inspiration finding a true home, time and voice.

The research was critical to this leap forward, as was the quite right, but quite painful criticism of tutor feedback for part 4 – which has compelled me to push my creativity further and harder to what felt like breaking point but was in fact a breakthrough. I have been challenged to use my creativity in a far more canny and investigative way – leaving a large chunk of enquiry for the audience. This means that my final piece feels other to me, but of me, it carries its own narrative yet can support the narrative and meaning read by its audience. It is still raw and direct and thought-provoking, yet it has some finesse and translucency to it. By this I mean it is not an opaque punch, but a more un-quieting, unsettling suggestion. This has been a defining moment and I thank my tutor for courageously forcing me into what I first perceived as a corner that I had to fight my way out of, but now understand was a problem to solve and a brickwall to bring down so my field of creativity had new room to grow and space to breathe.

4: Context

I believe that the impact of the research I conducted on Judith Mason and Sally Simpson, Rumi, Shelley Goldsmith then later Imran Qureshi as impacted by the exhibitions (Estuary 16 details) I have seen over the course of this part has enabled me to modify my work and act on my tutors concerns in Part 4. I continue to thrive on researching the world of visual arts and creativity but to have found such resonance with another artist previously unknown to me has underpinned my progress and understanding of what I needed to do to move out of the dilemma my bloodied garments of part 4 produced. My research initially into Sally Simpson’s wrapping and later into Qureshi visual work and philosophies propelled my work into a contemporary context rather than simply a personal one. Engaging with this context has paramount to me moving through the struggle of part 4 (both with the process of collage and with the then emerging difficulty of uniting process and personal narrative). I believe my final piece now sits firmly in the research I have undertaken (simultaneously research on process, personal knowledge and professional knowledge). I have had to do a lot of wrestling with myself in order to unite all these areas into one layer of understanding. It has been quite an emotional and professional journey!

Assignment 4

I am beginning to understand this part of the work, this assignment section, which is to help signpost this work for assessment and feedback.

It doesn’t mean I am growing to like it any more or find it any easier.(Further to Tutor feedback on Assignment 4 I have amended and modified the preamble to this self-assessment).

To use the assessment criteria:

Demonstration of technical and visual skills:

I came to this part with very little experience of printing except some evening classes in dry-point etching and the usual hideous experiments in school with rock solid lino and blunt tools (that still successfully impale the carver). However, knowing this module was coming up I applied to a local printing company (INTRA) for a free course in gelli-plate printing. I had to fill in various forms to explain what I would be doing with the learning and why I deserved a place, and how I would use it. I was successful. I was therefore itching to immerse myself immediately in process-research rather than reading research. I explored different inks on the plate, different surfaces to print on and different ways of composing the monoprints.  I did experiment with collatype and this is not a process that I wish to revisit. It does not work for me. I assert Right 2. As I progressed with the exercises it became apparent to me that one surface and one mode of printing was not enough for one composition. The explorations with acetate and brusho opened the door to the most exciting demonstration of printing on my terms.

Again, as in Part 3 when I started combining techniques and actually composing forms then meaning began to be emerge and a sense of communication developed (Right 4).

As a design process for me printing is a fragment of a whole, not something that fulfils in and of itself, except for the blind back-drawing monoprints that have an importance that I sense is currently in its infancy. Again, as Part 3 I feel that with Project 1 of Part 4 in particular I have been able to move from showing visual and technical skills to communicating ideas.

Quality of Outcome:

Sharing the ‘green heart’ sample on the forum enabled me to understand that the work I was beginning to produce had a high quality due to the ambiguity of the image – evidenced by the varied and complex responses my audience shared. Pushing for greater depth on the back of this at first produced many technically refined prints that showed the ‘quality of outcome’ in process but lacked any ambiguity, or multi-facted layering in concept. In this part I have pushed my work through from ‘looking good and technical sure’ to having real voice – poignant, uncomfortable, personal and universal.

 Demonstration of Creativity:

(edited post feedback)

I wasn’t happy with printing relegating me to a 2d surface so I explored 3d forms, printing on plaster, printing on transparencies, layering, using 3 printing in combination with the gelliplate. The work became visceral and started asking its own questions. It created in and of itself separate from me.

Context:

I continue to relish the research and lines of enquiry that my works open for me. This is tantamount to my sense of learning and sense of progress. I have researched from a wide variety of platforms (Right 8)– media, on-line, paper-based, exhibits, galleries and podcasts as well as researching the work of other artists (Cas Holmes, Xtina  Lamb – INTRA) by attending their workshops and learning what printing means to them in practice and principle – learning in parallel and series. I now see where my work is beginning to find its family in the art world. I’m still determined to slice my own trail, but I can now see who inhabits the surrounding landscape.

(edited post feedback 27.10.16)

 

Response to tutor feedback ass.3

I have annotated my feedback and been dwelling on it before I consolidated my ideas in a post.

It has been really helpful to have a critical eye cast over my work as my tutor has not only been able to give me direction and refinement advice, but is noting emerging themes.

Emerging themes/ lines of enquiry noted in feedback

‘ a focus upon the inner landscape, gestural expression, and the inner form or writing or expression.’

‘unraveling the inner machinations of our minds or souls.’

‘relating to the inner landscape, unexpressed, inner language or workings beneath the text.’

‘the interpretable, jumbled, fragmented, hidden language…what to reveal or conceal, giving glimpses, enticing te viewer into wanting more.’

 

Reworking

It might be advantageous to go back and look at areas identified as requiring revisiting:

The paperclay odds and ends pot: ‘A great experiment, perhaps worth extending, with refining, taking the most successful elements and recasting. Making a mini-series.’

Look again at labelling: ‘I would recommend that you clearly either label photographic images or list components. Example@ Sample 2, resin, 3d pen, plastic water bottle, frozen water.  This makes it much easier for me, and assessors to locate and identify experiments tested.’ Duly noted. To action.

I need to look again at the post I wrote concerning gestures and marks as I have evidently expressed something that is presumptive. ‘Remember validity is in the eyes of the viewer.’

Areas to take forward and develop:

Continue to explore medium of resin due to successes in this assignment.

‘Consider testing other materials, I can imagine free falling strands of words, slipping language, squashed vocabulary, spiky, harsh, curses, there is so much more to explore.’

Continue with investigation of ‘music informing mark-making.’

‘Extend your testing of materials. Perhaps explore traditional materials against unconventional properties. Keep pushing the boundaries.’

Immediate action

With Part 4, I have been working immediately on what seemed to me to be the most critical part of my feedback: ‘Be confident in your self-analysis, and analytical abilities, take time to access exactly what you want to express.’

I have therefore tried to implement some specific changes in the way I work. I have my sketchbook as usual, printing samples have been grouped into a portfolio labelled with the day of production – showing a chronology. But I have also taken a step back to reflect and understand what is being asked of me: in my making, on this course, in my reflection, through my research. I have been a little anxious to really prove that I’m doing all the things I do: the reading, the writing, the thinking, the questioning, the sampling – worried perhaps that others will be unable to see the ‘behind the scenes’ work. But, through this feedback I’m recognising that I can still do all these things, but it doesn’t all have to be blogged – so I’m experimenting with a journal – all the little research offshoots and tangents are gathered, but when the main shoot of work evolves, then I can blog this. I can keep a record of the reading by maintaining my Bibliography. Ultimately, the influences and critical studies should ‘stimulate exciting and varied lines of enquiry’ which will be evident in the progression of pieces.’It is on occasion difficult to identify the most important aspects of your enquiries.’ I need to signpost these in my blog, the journal writing can explore the paths to get there. ‘With heavy bodies of text it takes a long time to get to the main focus of investigation.’ This is of no help when assessors have 45 mins! A journal will allow me to combine text and visuals for more fluency. Asking for clarification from my tutor as to whether a journal would be an accurate means of investigating this feedback and development point she said something that made it all crystal clear.

‘I believe that writing is an essential element to your work.  It is key to unlocking ideas, concepts and personal philosophy.  Within your writing you are able to locate key factors that become drivers to create work.

Therefore, it is ‘a must’, that you continue to be able to express these thoughts and emotions.  Imagine that your blog will one day be your connection to the art world.  You decide how much you wish to disclose… Encapsulate those amazing feelings, emotive subjects and philosophies.  Imagine a song that really says everything you are feeling, how it touches us for that one moment – it is a direct hit!’

This makes sense. The song for the blog!

Assignment 3

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.

2016-04-16-21.03.31.jpg.jpeg

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’.

Context:

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.

T1: MMT: Assignment 2: Reflection and Review

Here’s the plan to improve on my last attempt at reviewing and the previous attempt at sorting of Part 2, in order to make improvements based on my tutor’s feedback. 

Part 2 in 10 seconds: Strongest Lines of Enquiry:

Sampling:

Broken Barbie:

Sketchbook development:

Context:

Louise Bourgeois:

‘For Bourgeois, art was a means of “survival,” not a free career choice, and there was “no escape” from it. The “catharsis” or “sublimation” that it brings may be personally therapeutic, but its “vibrations” reach beyond herself to “universal” emotional situations. “Art is a way of recognizing oneself, which is why it will always be modern.”                                             “How do we deal with our wounded?” is how she formulates the challenge of an artistic vocation.’

Learning Log:

See Bibliography for reference above- I have now added this page to my main menu on the blog- which I hadn’t realised I had forgotten to do too even though I’d been dutifully keeping it acting on feedback to Part 1

Part 2 in 10 minutes: Developing review of strongest lines of enquiry

Sampling:

For joining it has to be sample 5. This piece has 3d form: sturdiness, suggested depth and view through a space, yet also a fragility. There is the beginnings of later samples’ bridging space- joining being much more than simply uniting. I was able to extract much more visual inspiration from this piece by altering photos and playing with ink sketches and tiling selected views in my sketchbook. There is a pleasure in tearing masking tape as well as the semi-translucent property of this resource. There is also a sense of spine and ribs and I wonder if this played into the later mummified wrapping of Broken Barbie.

A possible additional sample from joining would be the wire and organza sample (ex2 sample 6). This piece takes the suggested ribs of the above sample and starts bridging the gap with these. The joining takes place away from the surface at the apex of the curve. The quality of space within the piece is still very similar but the joining has a levity – it is as though the join lifts the surface – the join could pick that organza surface up and fly away with it. Whereas in sample 5 above the joining seems to be giving a backbone – a rigidity, a strength to each element of the piece.

Whilst many others samples were innovated, these two pieces seem to offer further potential for exploration. The wire thread seems to be emerging as a strong feature of this part, mimicking the quality of line that results from biro and blindsketching. There is a freedom and expressiveness in this material.

 

The final sample that I would choose from joining for selection and reflection is the above soldered sample for ex 5 (ex5 sample f). Whilst this is  a first attempt at soldering and I discovered I could not get the solder to adhere to the waxed paper surface, a surface brought forward for samples in Part 1, I think the result has a visual impact that is worth experimenting with. I need to discover a way of ‘annotating’ the surface with this wiry thread- I wonder having experimented with the 3D gun currently in my studies fro Part 3 that I am unearthing a possible means. I like the contrast between the contours of the paper and the rivulets and droplets of the solder. I especially like the questions that the piece leaves – what is this landscape, where is it? With the way my developing creating is going (into the landscape of the mind) I don’t think this sample is exhausted of possibility. Thus I select it in.

On to wrapping!

Flint

This was successful as it marked a radical change in my understanding of wrapping and allowed me to break free of the restrictions of my previous sampling. It was a conceptual change and a symbolic change. Choosing an object that speaks to me symbolically and metaphorically was very important – and it also marked a departure from sampling that followed course notes into sampling that followed my intuition and need to express. This sample also open the potential dialogue between create and object, object and audience, audeince and creator.

Broken Barbie (see above for images)

Broken Barbie built on Flint. The piece moved wrapping of the flint into many layered wrapping, again obscuring the chosen object within. It has layers of form as well as layers of meaning and layers of symbolism. This piece allowed me to connect a real cry from within into and onto a piece. The wrapping became a process of communication rather than a technical process. this was another fundamental breakthrough in my understanding and creating. It also teaches me that not everything has to be shared! Some things can remain hidden but these can add to the poignancy and message of the piece. Layers of wrapping are like layers of a story, every time we come to it we might notice something new, everytime we revisit it we bring the place we are now in along to communicate with the layer that now speaks.

Grit and Pearl:

This piece pushed layering further, wondering how far this process could be explored. This is important for me as I was having to generate new but along a specific line of enquiry rather than generating and innovating another apparently unrelated sample. This piece has taught me that sampling can evolve in series. At the start experimentation must be broad and wide-ranging, playful and experimental, then when the trail is picked up this line should be pushed further and further to see how far it will go. This is a journey from my starting point of wrapping, rather than going back to course notes and staring another road out. A new door opens with this piece: what is the potential of an artwork to transform, heal and transport wounds. Back to Louise Bourgeois’ concern over the challenge of artistic vocation: ‘How do we deal with our wounded?’

Sketchbook work:

I am beginning to feel more confident in my use of the sketchbook. Interestingly although I have asked for all my work back from the assessment for ATV, in actual fact given the choice now, all I really require back are the sketchbooks. If I keep this in the front of my mind it helps me understand the purpose and importance of these to me, and ultimately to an assessor. On reflection I feel I have tried to include sample-making in the sketchbook this time, building on previous feedback from my tutor (part 1 feedback). I have also gone beyond the confines of the sketchbook sketching to a me-size scale and exploring intuitive and expressive line-making. If I had to select the one are of the sketchbook that is integral to this part it would be these works  (also shared here) and most importantly the angry sample that woke me up to my own psychological limitations as well as the potential for expressing myself in a language other than words.

Learning Log/Context:

I have continued to hunt for contemporary artist whose work speaks to me, and to document this research. I have shared some of this research in my blog, maintaining a Bibliography as a new page (but only realising today that it was not apparent on my menu – hopefully this has now been rectified). With my tutor’s feedback sharing that it is not always easy to work out exactly which artist really inspired me it is important that I take more care sorting between reviewing an artist’s work for my own research and interest, and reviewing the IMPACT of artists that have really inspired me. In this part the most prominent artist has been Louise Bourgeois. I initially came to her work in ATV, but as is now apparent, didn’t really engage with the concepts behind her work, nor did I fully stop and engage with her pieces in order to understand what I was looking at. With the publication of the text ‘The Return of the Repressed’ I have discovered an artist from whom I have much to learn, especially the context of her work. The inner landscape. Psychotherapy and Art. She is my key artist conceptually for this part. As for artists who have impacted my sample making in process I must acknowledge the key piece of Nic Webb’s ‘Bound Form Bay’ and ‘Shared Vessel Poplar’ and Megan Singleton’s ‘Eight Thousand Daughters’. There is a direct link between their use of chosen medium and what I tried to make my samples do.

In this new review and reflection I hope to have shown that with the timely guidance of my tutor and her constructive criticism I can begin to select more effectively and clearly. I still have a lot to learn.

I must remember to allow an idea ‘to fully bloom’. There is enough summer in me.

T1: MMT: Pt2 Review following feedback

I have been reflecting deeply on my tutor’s feedback. She has made some incredibly astute and constructive points. Positives that I can continue to build and grow: e.g. ‘thought-provoking creative works…connected with the process…exciting dicoveries…it is wonderful that you push the parameters of an idea or concept.’ All very useful pointers that show me how to build on success. I’m also interested to note how many positives have evolved using related terms: ‘three-dimensional structuring…depth, movement…fragilitity…entangling…organic, sculptural form.’ I had never considered myself to have any 3-d skill at all. I hated pottery at school as couldn’t make the clay move the way I wanted, I had no access to wirework or metalwork or any 3d design beyond the construction of a garment which in my mind is piecing together 2d pieces into a 3d form. What I have been discovering in MMT and the latter part of ATV is that I like forming abstract structures that play with different materials and processes and space – so I take my tutor’s comments on these as a nod that these avenues are worth exploring further.

When I consider the overall feel of the feedback the impression I am left with is that ‘the work’ is going in the right direction but I don’t always record it in a way that is explicit to another, or traceable for someone who wishes to see how everything holds together. This seems to boil down to my lack of skills with selection.

I completely accept this.

I overwhelm myself sometimes. I input all this research as I love discovering, learning and then it all gets fed in, then something comes out many samples later and the line of inspiration is not so easily traced. But, if this were for my own makings and myself as audience this wouldn’t matter so much. What does matter is making it clear to: my blog readership: fellow students, tutor and assessors. Selection (and clarification) is important to learn – although it feels another world, what would happen if I had to present an exhibition no matter the venue. My tutor using this analogy really helped clarify where I have been getting in a muddle. I’ve seen It All as The Course or The Work or The Process.

I’ve been so worried about making samples that show I’ve got enough of ‘whatever it is’ to warrant being on this course. I’ve been worried about grabbing every moment to create out of fear that if I stop it will all dry up and never come back. I’ve been researching and gathering more to show how passionate I am about this chosen course and how excited I am at finding a whole world to discover. I’ve been experimenting and innovating as if my life depends on it. It has not been exhausting. It has been invigorating. It makes me feel alive. If I stop what happens then?

I’ve been afraid of not doing enough.

Not being enough.

What if I stop and look and discover…there’s nothing to see – nothing to me.

There it is.

I knew it would come out if I just trusted to this process of thinking on the page. Now I can see the problem I can work towards a solution.

Somehow caught up in the process of selection, I’ve muddled my neuroses in to make a kind of ‘if-I-select-too-much-I won’t-be-enough-because-people-won’t-see-enough-of-me-so-I’ll-be-invisible-again-and-my-work-will-therefore-not-matter- so-I-don’t-matter-therefore-I-am-as-I-always-thought:-nothing’.

Now to get over that and get sorting. I think I have a plan…

 

 

 

Assignment 2: Reflection and Review

I will admit to just having had a little cry. The reflection that I wrote, and deliberated and pondered over just vanished as I was about to save it and cannot be recovered! Computers!!!

I persevere.

Having received confirmation of passing my first module: A Textiles Vocabulary, I feel I am in a better position to review this work. I now see from my marking breakdown how the assessors use the criteria – whilst the feedback doesn’t justify any of the statements with proof for their findings I know that part of that is my job to signpost and the assessment is summative rather than formative. However, there is a very useful ‘Overall Comment and Feed Forward’ paragraph at the end that I wish to contemplate through this review/reflection.  The last sentence states:

‘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.’

At the end of this Part 2 of MMT, I am able to share that I now understand that it isn’t just my created textile surface that is a playground, a landscape: but it is the whole textiles domain – and the way I find my first footing onto this is via the course notes. There are times where I have faithfully followed the map (followed the exercises) and this has resulted in exciting sampling, particularly in Project 1. However it was advancing into Project 2 where I found the map of course notes took me to a psychological brick wall, unanticipated and without warning. I felt downtrodden and limited by the exercises and felt constrained and inhibited – I found it a struggle to express myself. However, timely intervention by my tutor – asking the right questions and helping me navigate onto my own path, that really iterated how important it is for me that my sampling combines meaning, intention, expression as well as acquisition of technical skill and practice of process. It is critical for me that what I make matters. It is imperative that my work is true to me. It is vital that my work speaks of me. The struggle for this has meant that at times I feel I am looking at where I’m putting my feet and from my knees down all I can see is swirling fog. I cannot see where I am putting my feet – I could be walking off a cliff or into a crevasse, I just have to trust to a forward motion keeping my eyes ahead and knowing that if I stay true to myself everything will be OK. This has become my ‘go-to’ for sorting samples as I work. Is this sample speaking or is it voiceless? Is there something here that can be used to speak? Is there something in this sample that isn’t yet working but given a little translation service could perform more clearly?

I have learnt that I constantly seek to challenge myself with creating something new, learning something new or innovating a new path. I track off into my own wilderness and the satisfaction from creating something that expresses without words is immense. There is still experimentation of course that comes from trying to fit pieces and processes together to see what technically works and what expressively works. There is a merging of applying new skills to new ideas that really inspires me to keep pushing and struggling. I suspect my worst enemy is myself, pushing the wrong way on doors! My principle drive still remains – I wonder what if… It is exciting to be lost in creating and imagining and exploring. It is a challenge to communicate what I feel, but it is that challenge that keeps me pushing on.  My biggest breakthroughs as a result of this Part have been the last samples in Project 2 and the evolution of my drawing as a recording of what I feel as I create the samples. That has been quite electric and exhililarating. I am thriving on the complexities! And here hangs the truth, the golden key for me – complexity, meaning, voice.

To use the assessment criteria:

Demonstration of technical and visual skills:

I feel in this Part my research and experimentation has enables me to develop a breadth and depth of visual response, using a wide variety of materials from glass and steel to paper and fibre. I have worked with familiar more refined techniques: e.g crochet and threading, as well as unfamiliar and improving techniques: welding and fusing with a heat-tool. My observational skills have been shared using my camera, drawing app and sketches as tools, but in the process of sample making these skills are my constant feedback and aid for direction. As I’ve explored exercise I have enlarged my repertoire of techniques that will enable me to communicate my ideas, my meaning and feeling, more effectively. Some samples have been useful aids that do not work in and of themselves but contribute to the development of the next sample in series and therby contribute to my progress as a whole. Sometimes the samples are mere words or sounds and it needs the right translation to enable them to speak. I have felt really excited by the scultptural compositions that have been discovered over this part and continue to push for a blurring of boundaries and transitions between media.

Quality of Outcome:

My research and questioning has enabled me to realise ideas through the actualisation of thoughts and feelings in sample work. I have acquired new knowledge of practitioners and their works and processes by imitating and then innovating. By underpinning my knowledge with inspirational practitioners (either because they inspire me as role models, or their work engages my visual imagination or I am repelled to find my own way) I feel I have been able to realise my ideas and communicate them in my sketchbook and the blog. My judgment is becoming more consistent as I look to myself for value appraisal rather than being concerned as to whether a sample is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. I judge both process and production by the yardstick of: is it speaking truthfully or is it false and contrived.

 Demonstration of Creativity:

In this Part I have struggled to find a way of expressing my own meaning whilst remaining true to the requirement of the course. I have undertaken much analysis of my motives, my ideas and my use of technique to convey these, whilst simultaneously looking to how other artists have found their truth in their  work. I try to push the boundaries and challenge my own concepts and bring something new into being. I believe that at the end of this part my work speaks much more of me, and thereby opens the door for new discoveries about who I am as well as who I am when I am creating and ultimately creates a bridge between my working speaking to me as well as my work speaking of me.

Context:

I very much enjoy increasing the breadth of contexts for my practice not just from within the Arts field and textiles domain. I relish the mental agility and academic debates that flourish from my reading and engagement on the forums. My research is an integral part of my learning and unites places I go with what I see and what I read and how I think. A whole new world of possibilities is opening up to me wherein I find some kindred spirits (Louise Bourgeois/ Elka Kazmierczak), inspirational works (Anthony Gormley and Andy Goldsworthy and all those I have documented). I am hoping in the blog and sketchbook to show how this context informs my own practice.

It is an exciting landscape!