Culture & Conflict evaluation
This project has been my least accomplished. This is due to having all of my university interviews in February which meant portfolio preparation set me back with my work very quickly.
The starting point was my essay which investigated the role of feminine crafts within fine art. I really enjoyed researching this, so much so that I spent a great deal of time reading which set me behind my further. I had hoped to explore textile and fibre techniques in this project however this would have required more time to learn the techniques and produce the work. The time constraints are the same reason that I opted not to produce any ceramic work, despite receiving good feedback on my ceramics from Broad Street during interviews. So I decided to opt for the quicker and more versatile process of photo-montage and collage, introducing some textile elements into this. I also experimented with screen-printing for the first time which I really enjoyed and would like to practice further to achieve slicker results. Although I am satisfied with the aesthetic of the pieces I have produced I feel like they could have been developed further. I had hoped to experiment with collage from my own studio portraits, as well as potentially developing mixed media paintings and prints from the other collages. Unfortunately I was not able to do this as I ran out of time. I also feel like the communication of the concept (ambiguity of gender) is weak and too literal in many of the images.
At the start I knew that I wanted to produce work around the subject of gender roles however I was keen to avoid falling into stereotypes and making cliched work from a purely feminine viewpoint. As I was unsure what direction to take I spent a lot of time discussing ideas and surrounding issues with my peers. However I made no record of these. I now realise that in future it’s important to take notes to document this process and reflect on the discussion. Regular Monday critiques during FMP will help to keep this process in place.
Evidently time planning has been a big weakness throughout this project. Although concept development and initial research are important to me at the beginning of a project I think it would be better to take a more cyclical approach to my process. By this I mean choosing concept, spending some time investigating visual and written research, reflecting on this and producing some practical responses. These responses can in turn inspire further research, reflection, responses, and so on. A way of implementing this would be with a semi-structured routine. I will consider assigning activities to certain days and attempt to monitor and plan time spent. The time plan in my FMP SoI, along with the weekly project log, will help with this.
I feel that my research and written analysis skills are a strength and really help to inform my ideas and inspire my work. I feel I used a broad range of research sources for this project and I intend to maintain this practise throughout my FMP. The essay process also helped me to gain a good grasp on the Harvard referencing system which will be a valuable skill in future.
The pathway stage of foundation has taught me even more about my personal working process and time planning.
My time has been broken up by holidays, portfolio preparation and university interviews. This has demonstrated to me just how easy it is to get behind and lose focus. As such I have considered new time planning techniques, as described above.
I have gained more and more first hand observation, from gallery visits and the work of peers, whilst also discovering new online resources relating to contemporary arts practise such as:
Many of the artists and processes investigated in my research for the Binary project will go on to inform my ideas during FMP.
It has become clear to me that despite my personal need to have a concept to drive my work that practical experimentation is essential in order to develop ideas. I must learn not to be afraid to just ‘do’ and try things out, right from the start.
This will be especially important as I hope to produce an outcome for the live Barnsdale Gardens sculpture brief.
I am in the very fortunate position to have heard back from all of the universities I have applied to and received three unconditional offers. This gives me the tough decision of deciding between them all, though of course I am pleased to have this security and recognition of my potential. I am currently torn between a more design led, multi-disciplinary course based around live briefs, or the freedom of self-led fine art. The next few months will be important to helping me understand which best suits me, both in terms of how I prefer to work and realising my hopes for a future career. I will seek advice from relevant professionals to help with my decision.
One thing that I am certain of is that I do not feel drawn to a specific specialism. Many of the practitioners I admire and have been influenced by are multi-disciplinary artists and I think this is important in order to remain versatile. Although I enjoy the visual exploration of a techniques behaviour, textures and random results, my work is concept-led, meaning the idea informs the medium and the process itself is often an aspect of the message. I enjoy the excitement of the possibilities and freedom allowed by remaining open to any medium.