Assignment 4 – Development Work

Development of Practical Exercises

For this assignment I have revisited practical exercises from earlier parts of the course and created more developed pieces of work.

Ageing – Anxieties and Fears

In Part 2 of the course, Honing In, I explored the theme of ageing with one set of test pieces based on a dream my mother had shortly after she had moved into a care home. I wanted to use elements of the dream, about a mechanical doll, to reflect what mum was feeling at being moved from her own home, with a degree of independence, to somewhere that felt like enforced dependency.

For this assignment I revisited the test pieces and did further research to explore ways in which feelings of uncertainty and fear have been conveyed. Based on this I considered different options for composition and worked on a larger scale that pushed me into handling the paint in a looser way than I usually would.


In Part 3 of the course, Outside the Box, I worked with a childhood sketchbook using the drawings as a way to think about memories of my childhood. One of these drawings depicted insects and a bee among long grass. Initially I experimented with recreating the scene in my sketchbook and this stimulated other memories, such as playing near the burn which runs into the loch and of standing in amongst the irises that grew on the bank. I was hidden and had feelings of being safe and tucked away from the adult world but with just a tinge of foreboding. If I couldn’t see anyone else then they couldn’t see me. I was alone and, potentially, no one knew where I was. Along with that memory came one of collecting Victorian scraps and a cherub, leaning on a cloud looking somewhat fed up. In the test pieces I played with pulling these elements together, the grasses, irises, bees and cherub.

As the theme of memories is one that I am continuing to explore I decided to develop this piece for Assignment 4. In doing so I have considered suggestions from my tutor to work in a more gestural way and to try not to overwork the painting.

Artist’s Statement

The assignment also required a draft Artist’s Statement. When considering this, and reviewing work done on the course, I could see underlying themes of identity, ageing and memories. At this stage I feel that I am still forming ideas of how I will take my work forward so for the Artist’s Statement I have outlined my own background in art, my evolving process and a brief overview of these themes to date.

The details of my research so far, and approach to the practical exercises, are listed in the section Finding your Place.

Links to the Artist’s Statement, development work and my reflections for this part of the course are given below.

Artist’s Statement –

Anxieties and Fears – Mechanical Doll –

Memories – Irises and Bees –

Assignment 4 – Reflections –