P3- Contextual Studies Assignment 1

Student name Sue Gilmore Student number 301644
Course/Module Contextual Studies Assignment number 1

Overall Comments

 You have made a good start to this course. At the moment you have left things fairly open, which is a good idea. Now look further into some of the areas you are interested in, deepening your research. Continue reading widely and take note of different styles of writing as this will help you develop your own.

Feedback on assignment

research project

 You seem to be interested in several areas with various overlaps. From your artist’s statement I pick out some interesting concepts that will benefit from investigating further. It would be worth jotting down what you understand by rhythm, intuition, uncertainty, spontaneity, negotiation, limitations, nurturing, needs, slow in relation to your practice. A separate spider diagram for each of these words would be useful. These could be done on adjoining pieces of paper and a different colour could link across the word themes.

Several opposites come up; control/ lack of control; 2D/3D, objective/ subjective; order/random; physical/imaginative; outside/inside. These are areas for further consideration. In particular, how does the one effect the other, depending which is first and which follows?

 An interesting area is the interplay between control and lack of control. This is something you may want to investigate further. Ask yourself when you take control and when you let the material take control. You may not always be aware of this, but at times you will be.

Related to this is Chaos Theory. Systems that are constantly changing are found to be extremely sensitive to their initial state and, as the system evolves in time, small fluctuations can be amplified to produce enormous change differences, resulting in totally new organized structures. How do you think this can be relevant to your work with willow?

Order and chaos have been explored by a number of artists and writers: for example Jean Arp, James Joyce, John Cage and Andy Goldsworthy. I have scanned a piece of writing by Andy Goldworthy. It came from ‘Order, Chaos and Creativity’, Art and Science Conference, initiated and organized by Interalia and held at the Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh on 29th and 30th August 1992. I was lucky enough to attend. As it was some time ago, I don’t know if there will be anything on the internet about it.

The relationship between 2d and 3d is fascinating. Can you go into it more? What is the difference? Real space is the obvious one. How do you perceive

the difference and similarities in working in both ways in your own work? How do you perceive it in others’ eg. Randall-Page?

I see you also mention D’Arcy Thompson. His groundbreaking work on growth and form is fascinating and has influenced artists, writers, scientists and architects for decades. Jackson Pollock had a copy of his book, ‘On Growth and Form’ in his studio. The sculptor, Naum Gabo was very influenced by D’Arcy Thompson’s work. ‘As Thompson’s understanding of biological form revealed a strong aesthetic sensibility, so Gabo’s creation of artistic form was informed by an urge to express the forces of life.’ Interalia organized a conference, ‘Growth and Form’ in 1993 and I took this quote from a lecture by martin Hammer and Christina Lodder.  Again, I do not know if there is any reference to it on the internet, but it is worth checking.

It would be interesting to think of using different voices in your exhibition reviews and writings about contemporary artists. Some could be personal, others more analytical.

Contemporary Artist

 I can see you got a lot out of the Peter Randall-Page talk. A lot of his concerns resonate with yours. This was a great opportunity to write a personal response, which I think you managed well.  I found it particularly interesting the way he talked about the difference between working objectively and subjectively and how the space between these two polarities allowed him to invent in an unconscious way. Also interesting is the way he talks about the importance of the physical in liberating the brain. These are areas you will find useful in your own practice. It would be good to explore them further. One thing that is not entirely clear in your writing is where PRP talks about the inside and outside of things. What do you mean by this?

Exhibition review

 Your review of the Cornelia Parker room at the RA is quite different piece of writing. It does not feel so in depth and does not seem to relate so much to your own work, except for the fact it is monochrome. That is absolutely fine. For this reason, perhaps it could be more academic rather than personal. Choose more of an angle. For example, it would be worth revisiting this piece and considering her role as a curator. Why do you think she chose the works she did? How did they feed off each other? Put yourself in her shoes.

Suggested reading/viewing Context

You are doing a good job looking at artists and I am sure Michelle will suggest a few. Do you know the work of Sian Bowen? Her practice involves drawing and also three dimensions. In her case, the sculptural material is paper.

You may also find it interesting looking at the work of Naum Gabo and other Constructivist sculptors. Looking at form in architecture and engineering could also be a rich area of study, but may be something you choose to leave for later.

Pointers for the next assignment

 Spend a good amount of time working through ideas for your research project. It still doesn’t have to be definite, but you should narrow down to a few concerns which will then allow you to widen your perspective on them and deepen your investigation.

Think about different ways of writing about contemporary artists and exhibition reviews: interview, personal response, analytical etc. Read some reviews to get a flavor of the different kind of voices that can be used.

I would like to see some examples from your research folder this time.

Tutor name: Olivia Irvine
Date 26.8.14
Next assignment due Mid October

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