Category : A5 – Reflection

A5 – Reflection on Tutorial

This course is now coming to an end, and I am quite satisfied with the way of working with my tutor through tutorials, from which I take the notes she is amending afterwards. I am very pleased to hear that my small intimate series of Be Small was considered as one of my strongest works so far (Fig. 1)

An intriguing, well resolved assignment – particularly the final 22 small pieces and their layering and ambiguity. Process and materiality continues to be explored with commitment and enthusiasm. 

 

I was concerned how the starting point for this series Be Large, would be received by my tutor, as iconoclastic work?  She made a very interesting comment that didn’t crossed my mind during the making, although I kept – more subconsciously than discerned – the ‘left-over’ (Fig. 2 )

Fig. 1: 'Be Small - Stretch Your Stretch' - a selection

Fig. 1: A5 -‘Be Large ‘ – leaving behind // photographed on lightbox – would white backing be sufficient or even more convincing? Howe do I want to present it? for assessment? in a gallery space?

 

Fig. 2: 'Be Large ' - leaving behind

Fig. 2: A5 – ‘Be Large ‘ – leaving behind – detail from entire wall frieze // the markings left, of cutting, traces of absence – an index of interaction – forgotten but documented 

 

I could relate my tutor’s comments on the gown to my previous work with the mylar-made patient gown. My rather intuitively made gown, a result from failure to get acrylic paint off Hostaphan foil, is possibly more of a comment and closing a loop back. There is certain playfulness involved and alongside a densely covered front making the gown rather opaque, disclosed. My tutor suggested to allow more ‘space and economy of mark and materiality’ informing the results. At times, it seems I overly enthusiastic and putting too much into one work (see critical review below)

My main interest is more in the two sides, the inside and the outside, the transparency versus the concealing. Thus, to develop it further, I would rather make it more disruptive, revealing more from the inside To make it more ‘haunting’ as my tutor suggested. This gown piece relates also to Tabitha Moses’s embroidered patient gown in the wake of her IVF treatment. Is painting more of a decoration and embellishment of fabric? For me not, the fabric and the painting need to be interwoven. one holding the other, both conveying more a disruptive sense of vulnerability. Overall, 

In the preparation of my assignment, I continued working on those painterly, material sculptures, created through pulling and stretching materials as paint (Fig. 3) . An exploration of visual but also embodied space, as the ones I submitted with this assignment were built on metal hangers as a second element to ‘stretch’- the hanger and the skin (acrylic, latex, or fabric) seeking a balance. It felt quite good to hear how my tutor could relate to these as convincing works in itself. There is certainly space to improve color choice (Fig. 3 right). But there is also the intriguing aspect how shape sand curves are interacting with the viewer and negotiating space. I found the chance of having an online tutorial quite important in order to be able to show pieces that were submitted online only. My tutor responded to no3 (Fig. 3 left) with a strong sense of fragility. It was made from jersey fabric, it is quite stable and robust (much better than latex that may collapse any time). I do find this interesting and important aspect, not necessarily of deceiving, but about not taken assumptions for granted.

 

Fig. 3: A5 - 'Suspended Skin' - hanger sculptures

Fig. 3: A5 – ‘Suspended Skin’ – hanger sculptures // left: No 3, middle: no. 14, right: no. 2

 

During the tutorial we discussed what is at the bottom of my practice and work. It appears clearer now to me how it continued to be a thread throughout this course. Although, some works might be rather of a tangent, e.g. the Object-box as a playful interactive art-game, getting more attention from children than adults.

Coursework

There was not much other practical work during this part (quite some writing had to be done) and the cut-up audio -video piece ‘Cut up my thinking‘ was received two-fold: the speech-scape as such through the distorted cut-up words were intriguing and hold enough space and attention. Whereas, the visuals, especially the moving written text and my hand were not convincing. To apply rather abstract painterly patterns in the background to allow the eye to follow while the brain is trying to catch auditive sense and meaning from the spoken disconnected words. The broken words and sense of dislocation, both key aspect in my practice, came across as effective and unsettling. ‘Unsettling’ appears also a key element in my work, as my parallel project showed. Overall, it is about disruption linear narratives, flat picture planes, and obvious meaning through juxtaposition and layering. 

Sketchbooks

My tutor made the comment that my sketchbooks are getting my ideas through a more intuitive response at times better across. I guess this has to do more with putting one idea alone onto one page, turn to the next, and put my second idea down etc. The space around my markings in the sketchbook seemed also less daunting, perhaps the edges of the book (A4 or mostly A3 sketchbooks) provide already enough structure and frame not to bother too much about.

Critical Review

As this came across through my artist statement, it became clearer to me after our tutorial that also the critical review is more about reflection on practice and less informative. My draft was conceived as too dense, clever, but too much, and too less about my own reflections. A clear message that I can relate to quite well. Time for my final draft to submit. It could be better to write more about my ideas as an enquiry. She also highlighted that my contextual notes, though brief, are very relevant to my subject matter and I could lean more on this approach.

In context of embodiment and aesthetics, my tutor suggested some rephrasing and provided a supportive article about Art and Embodiment

 

Learnings:

  • Allow more space and economy in my mark making and materiality approach to inform the results, less is more
  • Be less illustrative and obvious and embrace more ambiguity through opening more space
  • My enquiry of ideas should lead my writing, and my practice overall.
  • I am satisfied to have found finally a common platform through key elements that I can put in place: in my artist statement (done), in my critical review (to be made clearer) and in my visual works (some are there, some need adjustments, some are out – the latter is also quite a relief not to bother about any longer)

 


The full formative feedback with amended notes from my tutor is available at: PDF 

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A5 – Self-Evaluation

How am I doing against the criteria?

Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills

I continued exploring my favorite actions of stretching and pulling on other materials. Considering the ephemeral nature of latex from my previous I was looking into stretchable fabrics and other products, e.g. Parafilm M®, leukotape® bandage, Tyuvek®, that has some connection with the clinic and medical practices. I was not able to explore fabrics in depth, e.g. the stretchable Jersey or the translucent cheese cloth, to the extent I would have love to (time constraints). As in my previous assignments I explored different streams before deciding which one would be the final outcome as my submission work. Perhaps, some other would have more potential, a question I would still struggle with and my tutor’s comments here would be very much appreciated. I was more careful and conscious to take edges, color, transparency, and opaqueness into account. I feel the compositional aspects are more informed with this assignment than earlier ones.

Quality of Outcome

The assignment went through multiple stages, each one informing the other, with time in between to reflect before making next interactions. Working on parallel streams and especially working in series allowed me to discern pieces that are more successful than others. Although, the applied color palette for painting was rather on the muted side with layered black lines and texts, I am positively surprised and happy that backlight (light-box) as a performative aspect can brighten it up and give a different appeal to the small scale works. I am aware of the ‘iconoclastic’ approach from large scale painting into cutting it up into multiple pieces. This was a conscious decision informed by my other works (parallel project, critical review). It might be good to get some other feedback on this approach.

I was concerned about quality of my assignment that it could stand transportation, is durable and could be viewed in gallery spaces.

Demonstration of Creativity

During this course I became more aware about certain topics that might be part of what I want to do: transformation of materiality, crossing boundaries of materials and meaning, embracing other media and the performative aspect of light, fragmentation and vulnerability (this is the most autobiographic aspect of my work), and a sense of dislocation.

I feel that since my previous assignment I am more focused on those key aspects informing my work without necessarily being constrained by my thoughts. The making and physical touch of material alongside the performance of the material during the transformation process is informing my visual responses and my final works. At times, I am not sure whether the final outcome supports my intention, but I do embrace chance and the turns my making is adding to the work.

Context

My work is strongly informed by my parallel project and my critical review. Especially moving away from the MRI as visual image to a more sensible approach to skin and materiality helped me to overcome conventional narratives and to let the material as such speak to the viewer. I am very much influenced by a few artist, their body of work I am following now since some time (see various blog posts) and their approaches to materiality inspired me: Helen Chadwick, Jaqueline Humphries, Mona Hatoum, and Richard Tuttle. Also, I am reflecting also on my earlier works for this course (and even make connections to my previous course unit with OCA.

 


Questions to my tutor:

  • Potential of my ‘hanger’ sculptures
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