Projects 5 and 6 of the course have made the most sense of all of my OCA studies with regards to a working research methodology and the lessons learnt will form the core foundation of all future work.
Project 5 allowed me to explore how changing the context in which my work is viewed can change the overall context and create new themes and ideas which result in a variety of exploratory piece and resolved outcomes. I really enjoyed exploring photographing what were very basic and simple samples in a variety of locations looking for the perfect site – I deliberately used two samples, 1 from each of my themes, before critically reflecting on the two ‘perfect’ photographs. The sample I took forward, from my Beauty in Decay theme, developed into a sea shell/fungus/cornucopia style sample inspired loosely on the crocheted sea urchins of Choi+Shine Architects and the ceramic work of Jennifer McCurdy and which worked well in a variety of locations. The junction of two branches provided further critical reflection and possibilities for further development of a fungus concept whilst placing the same shell sample in a more urban environment created further ideas of decay and contrast between a life lived against the harsh reality of the inner city urban environment with the signs of decay that are almost overwhelming.
Exploring This process of concept, practical response, critical reflection and refinement creates a cycle that produces new ideas and responses and exciting and exploratory outcomes that makes sense to me. At this point I remind myself of my recent Asperger’s diagnosis that means I do look at life a little differently with varying quirks and hence it almost feels that this part of the course and this research methodology has come at a perfect time – I needed to find a way of working that made sense to me in a logical way.
Project 6 Context enabled me to take the research methodology and apply it to the composition of works and for this I took a watercolour study of some fuchsias in my garden. The aim of the project was in to add impact and clarity as well as a sense of order and an improvement of the visual elements which I do feel can be illustrated clearly by my original chosen study which contrasts against my favourite resolved outcome. My acrylic painting is clear, concise and aesthetically pleasing and makes a bold, vibrant and dynamic statement and is a complete contrast against the chaotic and unrefined original study. Many of my sketches tend to be very loose studies which enables me to get down an impression on the paper of colour, form or texture and this research methodology has enabled me to take those rough ideas and refine them to produce a pleasing practical outcome.
As I have stated above this methodology makes absolute sense to me and I feel it has developed my composition and contextual awareness in a steep learning curve. I have wanted to find artists of all genres who may inspire my ideas and this is something I have struggled with previously – researching can feel sometimes it is done for the sake of it rather than for a specific reason and for me I need to have that reason for it to hold my interest and inspire my work. I feel considerably more confident in my compositional skills but at the same time I am aware that this is still something that I will need to continue working on and is one of the skills that you also never stop learning. I am also considerably happier with my contextual awareness – I just need to get over feeling self-conscious when taking my work out to places to try new contexts which may generate further ideas.
Finally I re-affirm what I stated in my first statement – I feel very strongly that this research methodology will form the core foundation of all my future work as it gives the impetus to move forward with my studies and explore ideas and concepts that I may not have previously considered.
DEMONSTRATION OF TECHNICAL AND VISUAL SKILLS: this is where I feel I have come on most in this part of the course. I have been able to demonstrate my visual awareness and composition skills through the course of the research methodology although I feel at this point my use of materials or variety of techniques could still be improved. I am happy with the materials I have chosen for this particular assignment but now want to explore further combinations combined with different techniques. My observational skills I do feel I am able to demonstrate although perhaps more in my writing on this blog than directly in my sketchbook and textile samples at this stage.
QUALITY OF OUTCOME: I have been able to apply the knowledge gained through both projects directly to the work produced and have presented it in a coherent manner – I am having to train my somewhat chaotic Asperger’s brain to stop jumping from one thing to another and recognising this ‘quirk’ is enabling me to present my work more clearly. I am starting to find that writing this learning blog is enabling me to conceptualise my thoughts and really communicate my ideas in a logical and coherent way and this is something I now realise I can transfer to my sketchbooks – I feel now I need to use my sketchbooks in a more journal-like fashion which may be more writing and simple sketches but by changing the way I use my sketchbooks the quality of outcome will continue to rise.
I feel that the blog-work for this part of the course in particular is demonstrating a clearly improved quality of outcome as well as a the demonstration of technical and visual skills.
DEMONSTRATION OF CREATIVITY: my imagination and experimentation I feel has started to come to the fore as I am starting to really feel less inhibited and less self-conscious about being experimental and inventive and feel my samples and refined pieces of work are demonstrating a developing personal voice.
CONTEXT: My research, reflection and critical thinking I feel has developed considerably in this part of the course and I feel I have been on a steep learning curve. I am able to demonstrate my critical thinking as I am changing the way I write and using more descriptive or narrative language that enables me to communicate my thoughts more clearly. I feel am able to research with a purpose and idea in mind which generates ideas and concepts that I can develop. Finally my reflections on my work and the course material I now find are perhaps better thought out and deeper in terms of consideration of how I feel the projects have gone or difficulties I have faced and I am able to communicate my thoughts in a well-written manner.