Final Reflections

Well I made it to the end of Creative Arts Today and one year’s work has been packaged up and sent to the OCA for assessment. Fingers crossed that I have submitted everything correctly!

It has been a turbulent year and this is a good time to pause and look over the last year’s work, putting down some final thoughts.

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Assignment 5 Final Draft: Reflective Commentary

I found this final section of the course the most thought provoking. On reflection, it should be obvious that someone who has always played with yarn and started selling hand painted silk scarves would consider studying textiles yet strangely I started this degree determined to study painting. Looking at the huge variety of applications of textiles throughout this course and particularly reading through Bradley Quinn’s Textile Designers at the Cutting Edge made me realise how much further I could push those interests. Studying Part 5 has inspired a flurry of ideas ranging from the use of unconventional or recycled resources for clothing to the seemingly unending variety of methods for adding texture and interest to a fabric and including it in other artworks. The enthusiasm I have found in myself for attempting techniques has led me to decide to switch to textile art instead.

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Assignment 3 Final Draft: Reflective Commentary

I found the projects on “Film Posters” and “Join the Navy” most interesting. I enjoyed the challenge of applying semiotic analysis in an attempt to understand the symbolism of images in “Join the Navy”. The “Film Posters” task was interesting as, by comparing the two posters for the same narrative, it was possible to see how society and culture has changed in the intervening 52 years. (Hopkins, 2017) Continue reading “Assignment 3 Final Draft: Reflective Commentary”

Assignment 2 Final Draft: Reflective Commentary

Reflecting on my progress during Creative Reading, I can see that I have made a significant step forward that was principally due to reading Roland Barthes’ (1967) ‘The Death of the Author’. Until reading the essays recommended exploring the role of the reader I was focussing on trying to understand what the motivations of the author/artist were. Barthes’ suggestion that only the reader’s response counts was fascinating and has led me to be more confident in drawing my own associations and conclusions from work. This has been in stark contrast with my feelings at the end of the Contemporary Art section where I was worried that I was missing the point on works by approaching them too literally due to my science background, following Barthes’ argument, my response would be just as valid as anyone else’s. Continue reading “Assignment 2 Final Draft: Reflective Commentary”

Assignment 1 Final Draft: Reflective Commentary

My initial response to the question “what is art?” was “something that engages people on an emotional (or perhaps intellectual) level”. (Hopkins, 2017a) One year on, I do not feel like my view has significantly changed. What particularly changed studying the Contemporary Art section of the course was the realisation that art and inspiration is all around us. I was surprised at the huge variety of media that can be employed for example I had never considered using sound in an artwork. I have also found that my view that there should be some aesthetic appeal to a work has been challenged slightly. I still feel that the artwork needs to intrigue the viewer enough for them to approach it however I was surprised that works such as Duchamp’s fountain (which I felt fairly dismissive of initially) become far more interesting when you take the time to research the context in which it was created. Continue reading “Assignment 1 Final Draft: Reflective Commentary”

Assignment 5 – Reflective Commentary

I found this final section of the course the most thought provoking. On reflection, it should be obvious that someone who has always played with yarn and started selling hand painted silk scarves would consider studying textiles yet strangely I started this degree determined to study painting. Looking at the huge variety of applications of textiles throughout this course and particularly reading through Bradley Quinn’s Textile Designers at the Cutting Edge made me realise how much further I could push those interests. Studying Part 5 has inspired a flurry of ideas and so I have decided to switch to textile art instead.

This wasn’t the only change of mind I had on this course. When I started my final assignment I originally began researching the Piper tapestry in Chichester Cathedral but during the preparatory work for the essay I kept getting drawn back to the Benker-Schirmer tapestry that hangs on the reverse of the Sherbourne Screen. The only frustrating thing about changing the focus of my essay has been trying to obtain primary sources. I have contacted the factory in Germany where half of the tapestry was constructed but have yet to receive a response. I have also been trying to arrange a visit to the West Dean Tapestry Studio in the hope that I could discuss the tapestry with weavers currently working there (currently to no avail). I am hoping that I will have more success before having to submit the essay for final assessment and I will be able to add a few extra comments into the final draft.

In this section I think it has finally clicked that it is acceptable to have an opinion and to write an essay which incorporates that. It has been helpful to approach this essay from the starting point of Kevin Seasoltz assertion that Ursula Benker-Schirmer’s Reconciliation Gobelin (tapestry) in Chichester Cathedral is “[m]uch less successful” than Piper’s and ask the question, was he right? I have tried to work the answers to the guidance questions within this framework and included as much evidence as I could to support the position that Ursula Benker-Schirmer’s tapestry is more site specific than the Piper tapestry.

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