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!