P3- Contextual Studies Assignment 3

Student name Sue Gilmore Student number 301644
Course/Module P3 Contextual Studies Assignment number 3

 Overall Comments

You have done some good work for this assignment. I see a real sense of digging deep to find out what it is you are really interested in. You have developed some original and exciting ways of researching-  imagining going through an exhibition, answering interview questions given to someone else and then comparing the answers, emailing an artist you feel intrigued by. This shows commitment and a desire to do things that will enrich your practice. It is also fascinating to explore different ways about writing about art, from academic to narrative to imaginary interview.

Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

Exhibition; John Newling

You have done a lot of work to ‘virtually’ visit the exhibition. Starting with the map is a good idea.  The piece is rather long and I wonder if it would be better starting with you ‘entering’ the exhibition, where you say’ I (would) come to the door and find a video screen’ and then moving from room to room. As you do so you can explain Newling’s interest in certain themes, like value. The piece would read better with the narrative of you going round the exhibition. Keep to that voice, adding thoughts and insights as if you were having them as you are going round. I think that would keep the reader’s attention more. It’s just a matter of shuffling the material round a bit in the piece. If you like, you can have a very brief introduction where you explain it is a ‘virtual’ visit.

There is a lot in Newling’s work that resonates with your own and I think, once you have read his text, you will be further inspired. One or two photos of his work would be beneficial for the assessors to refer to, so that link becomes more obvious. Looking further into his work will give you some ideas about how to present your own and this will be very useful for Professional Practice.

A Conversation about a Conversation

I really like the angle you have taken for this piece. Using the structure of Cindy Nemser’s questions to Hesse and answering them yourself has been very insightful for how you see your own practice. Both comparing and contrasting your responses to those of Hesse has shed light on some interesting things, namely your history with your material, seeing the willow as a collaborator (more of this later), the role of the unconscious, order and chaos and durability. Each of these areas should be revisited and expanded on as you progress. I find the order and chaos particularly intriguing. You mention Hesse liked to take a rigid structure and make chaos. I’m not so sure you are doing opposite things. By chaos she probably meant a new ‘order’ or a platform for asking new questions about different directions, some of them even comical or absurd. I get the impression you are doing that too- keeping things fluid, not being too sure where they are going, asking more questions. I think a good piece of work does this.

I like the honest hesitation in your writing- lots of ‘It’s funny’ and ‘In some ways’. It feels like real speaking, which is different to writing. Please put ‘Transcript from voice recording’ at the top of the piece so that assessors are aware.

Proposal for Critical Review

This is beginning to shape up. You probably still need to narrow it down a bit. Looking at your list of things you want to explore, decide which are the most exciting and relevant for you to explore as starting points. Although you may end up discussing all of the issues, pin the essay on one or two. It may be you take Le Witt’s letter as a starting point. Can you find more letters from him? From this you can talk about her transformative time in Germany. Add to this something about the materials she uses, the 2D/ 3D thing, the nature of their impermanence and, finally, how it relates to your own concerns. Alternatively, you may like to start by quoting Briony Fer. How do contemporary artists relate to her? Quote a few. Talk about her use of materials, her uncertainty, her influences and motivations and also how her work relates to your concerns and practice. You see, both approaches will say similar things, cover similar ground, but they are pinned on different starting points. There may be other starting points, too. You have the material. Now you just need the structure.

Also think what kind of voice you want to use. It could be a fairly straightforward one. I don’t think an overly academic approach would be suitable for this essay. Get some kind of a rhythm going with quotes peppering the passages.

Response to Victor Burgin ‘s essay.

Well done for persevering with this. I am impressed you got onto the forum to communicate with others about it and, as a result, wrote further insights. It is a difficult piece and you have managed to ask some important questions. The whole notion of Art History is interesting. Perhaps the boundaries will blur even more when we look back thirty years from now.

I think the thing to do is not get too bogged down by texts like these. Revisiting it, as you did, and asking your peers gets questions out there and that is what it is all about. It may seem a million miles away from the ‘doing’ of art, but finding angles and questions where it feeds in and enriches you makes the slog of reading it worth it. The way I see it, we can use the texts, just don’t let them use us (up).

Other work

The way you take notes and add lots of arrows and boxes shows that you are relating to what you see/ hear and are making links. Go back to mind mapping from time to time as you will find it a fruitful way of making further links and jumps. It may even help with your essay. Your piece on Drawing as a Mechanism for Exploring is good. I see also that you were responding to Oliver Reed’s blog about drawing, especially his use of the process of burning, making materials, using stones from his walks. A brief write up of this would be good.

Pointers for the next assignment

I think working with a voice recorder is working well for you and is something you should continue with. You mention the willow as your collaborator. Why not have a dialogue with the willow? Ask it questions and be its answering voice. If it helps, this can be a private activity. It does not have to be documented in its raw form. A written summary of your findings will suffice. Even that, I don’t have to see unless you want me to.

Work on the structure of your critical review and send me a rough draft. This is the main work for this assignment, so give it plenty of time. Please feel free to email me in between with any questions you may have about it. Even just bouncing some ideas off me will be useful.

Tutor name: Olivia Irvine
Date 14.2.15
Next assignment due 25.4.15

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