I have come to realise these final reflections always feel slightly strange – you are finishing the course and preparing for assessment whilst also preparing to move on to the next course with the challenges that lie ahead but in doing so time is needed to reflect on the work that you have done and the course as whole.
The final part of the course has been one that is self-motivated and with the freedom to decide on how you approach the work and what theme you work on – the first real self-lead project and that alone has brought challenges. I found myself working with the methodology learnt in Part 4 and trying new ways of working which in turn lead me to realise that I was neglecting some vital sketching and design aspects which now needs to be addressed – preferably before assessment! However these new working methods have enabled me to explore and investigate fully my theme and really get into my psyche the benefit of researching contemporary textile works and artists and also the cyclical nature of the methodology to the extent both feel a completely natural part of my own working practices.
The course as a whole has been enlightening in terms of this is the course I feel I have finally got to grips with the study methods and the reasons why certain things are studied – the contemporary artists are a prime example as I did not previously understand the importance of this research. I have also found myself exploring naturally differing textile processes and the books in my own collection are getting read in more depth as I seek to understand and gain knowledge of my various techniques and working methodologies of differing artists and designers.
If I look to the actual course aims and learning outcomes I will find it easier to answer whether I have met them through looking at the assessment criteria:
Demonstration of technical and visual skills: I find myself looking at the course aims in order to directly answer this criteria but feel I have demonstrated a good range of techniques and also in terms of mark making to generate the required composition, line, texture and tone – I have found myself being drawn to emphasing texture and tone in particular and have worked hard to improve my weaker areas of composition and line. I am however aware that I need to work further on my final project to demonstrate my understanding of compositional elements and line and to be able to translate this more effectively into my textile techniques – please note this has been done in accordance with tutor feedback and evaluations.
Quality of outcome: I have consistently worked on my presentation of my work in a coherent and organised academic manner and been able to demonstrate my conceptualisation of thoughts and communicate my ideas through my written work and also my sketches. I have demonstrated how I apply the knowledge to my work throughout the course and in particular in Parts 4 and 5.
Demonstration of creativity: Creativity I have felt is really beginning to come through in my work now and I am more willing and also excited to push beyond the boundaries and develop my work due to the research into contemporary artists. I am now gaining confidence in demonstrating and exploring my imagination which is resulting in considerably more experimentation and invention using a range of textile and media techniques and my personal voice is finally beginning to develop – I am aware that I am focusing ever more deeply on my use of colour and texture which is resulting in bold works that want to shout out to the world although my final project was relatively small in scale.
Context: This is where I feel I have shown the most development through being able to demonstrate my research and critical thinking skills – the critical reflection part of the methodology has enabled me to analyse and reflect in a coherent manner that also enables me to communicate my ideas. My background as a secretary and also as a child who loved to write is enabling me to really start to use my love of words as part of my studies – words can be used to work through ideas and concepts before I put pencil and paint to paper or pick up a sewing needle or turn on my sewing machine. I feel my research skills are improving at a rapid pace and this in turn is forcing me to analyse and dissect concisely what I require to know and absorb from each piece of research or image.
Overall I feel this course has been the one in which I have begun to find my place and find my personal developing and have felt I have been on a huge learning curve that has been both frustrating at times but also exhilarating in terms of moving forward. I am still wanting to do further work on my final project and correct or work on aspects I am not happy with prior to assessment but as stated in my final critical review the theme I started in this course I am certain is one that will form part of my personal voice and will be part of my working practices.