Assignment 4 – Reflections

Based on feedback for Assignment 3 I had a number of aims for the fourth part of the course including:

Revisit and develop exercises from earlier parts of the course – For Assignment 4 I have worked on two canvases on the themes of ageing and memory. These have been submitted as works in progress as I was very conscious of overworking the pieces, something I have done in previous exercises.

My aims were to respond to advice from my tutor and to try and work in different ways. For Anxieties and Fears – Mechanical Doll, I worked on a larger scale and with more of a process. For Memories – Irises and Bees I was trying to work in a looser, more gestural way and to think of ways to communicate the idea of memories through the work.

Consider ideas for ongoing body of work – the two pieces submitted relate to work on ageing and memories. Other test pieces related to memory have been more associated with a sense of place and the mapping of the inner landscape of my childhood. This is something I have started to explore through research into the work of aboriginal artists and my tutor has given me further suggestions for research into this area of landscape and memory.

Another thought I have had, which seems to stick with me, is doing some work around the idea of scrapbooking. This would be worked around the theme of memories but needs further research to see how viable it is as a concept.

At this stage it is, perhaps, more a case of starting to focus these ideas. Currently, I feel that I have a number of threads of ideas which have potential but not enough sense of direction with any of them.

Create a draft Artist’s Statement – I was a little uncertain about how to approach this and did research online and by picking up examples at the Glasgow School of Art (GSA) Degree Show. Some examples collected through research tended to border on the incomprehensible so, after a bit of debate, I decided to write this based on three headings of Context, Process and Current Practice. This is very much a work in progress.

Think of ways to balance practical and theoretical work – I find myself spending a lot of time on research and running out of time for practical work. I am experimenting with a new way of working on this by quickly extracting the points which resonate with me from my research and then looking at examples of the artist’s work for ideas that may help with my own practice. In writing this up I am noting the key points, discussing what has appealed in selected artwork and making notes about ideas I can follow up on if relevant. I have tried this approach for this part of the course, focusing on artists whose work may feed into ongoing work.

Contacting other artists – I have been less successful in the execution of this due to pressure of time but have ideas for taking this forward. In September I visited the Glasgow School of Art Degree Show and saw the work of a number of artists that appealed to me. The artists themselves were not available to talk to but my aim is to contact them and ask about particular aspects of their work.

I am also going to make a point of connecting with fellow students online. OCA Creative Arts students have recently established a regular Google hangout as a way to connect so my aim is to take part in that.

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