Assignment 5: Reflection on tutor’s report

After it took over two weeks with Hermes to get my assignment portfolio to my tutor’s place, I was positively surprised that I received his report just 2 days later. I scheduled skype call with him yesterday to clarify some of his comments and to be able to explain some of my thoughts

Overall I am pleased with the feedback received and the constructive comments on areas that I should pay more attention to.

Strong points: 

  • My tutor highlighted me ‘being adventurous‘, ‘have taken risks, being experimental‘ in my approaches. Especially my large drawing ‘showed expressiveness and ambition‘.
  • My tutor acknowledged the ‘beginnings of [my] personal voice and language‘ showing through.
  • Incorporation of a range of materials, working through a series of processes and approaches.
  • Exploration of a range of different compositions, formats, approaches, and techniques.

Weak points:

  • My tutor highlighted that some works were ‘lacking a resolve‘. One reason may be that I got ‘too wrapped up in the concepts of [my] ideas‘. Another reason is the ‘great number of challenges to explore‘. Being too broad hinders a deeper investigation.
  • More ‘investigation and interrogation around the context‘ (drawings, photographs). Use more of sketchbooks.
  • Demonstration of a visual path: ‘making decisions as to the most appropriate to avoid that it becomes a demonstration of techniques, with considered reasoning

Question: When is a work resolved?

How far should I go? Should I answer all questions? My tutor advised me to look at some aspects in a work only, and not to put too many in them. This could mean to explore aspects as composition, formats, techniques, approaches in a more explorative way. Trying to eliminate aspects for staying more focused.  Making variations of a theme or an aspect would lead eventually towards greater discernment. In the context of my phenomenological approach I wasn’t sure when drawing as a direct act of sensing ends and when discerned decision-making starts.

I understand that the key message is to ‘demonstrate a considered reasoning of the visual path that leads towards a specific outcome’ 

Suggestion from my tutor related to: Work looks stronger on small-scale

  • A window mount around the work would make them more coherent.
  • Using photographs of my own work can help to understand what is right or just not right. Photographs enhance the contrast of a work.

At times my intention was rather to include the void as an compositional and conceptual element (see Tatiana Trouve). I understand that this could be tested further with variations and discerned decisions.

Sketchbooks:

For my personal project I worked compared to my standards rather outside of sketchbooks. To have a more demanding and involved  bodily awareness a larger scale was required (more expressive). I understand my tutor’s comment for deeper interrogation within the sketchbook, more variations and range of studies for discerning decisions. What is more successful and what are failures.  At times I am thinking about when to use my sketchbooks, when loose sheets, and what would be the main difference. A kind of controversial on my subject chosen that was led by phenomenology.

Discernment:

Through making variations of a theme and going through a selection process. Being critical which work can answer what kind of question best. This would allow me to be more focused on questions that need to be addressed and answered through drawing.

Context

My contextual reflection in my learning log was appropriate. Use of mind maps and video takes supported this.

My tutor suggested some contemporary artists for further contextualisation in the area of process, surface, environment. I have to say that I found it at times difficult to research the right artists for my subjects.

To explore process:

  • Ian Davenport
  • Callum Innes

To explore surface and the environment:

  • Boyle Family, click here.
  • Anselm Kiefer (German b.1945)

Because of some similar elements:

  • John Piper (British 1903-1992)
  • Gerhard Richter (German b.1932) and is paintings, click here.
  • Richard Long (British, b.1945) – wall drawings, click here.
  • Glen Onwin, (British, b.1947) click here

Next steps:

I learned a lot and this unit brought me to new drawing realms that I didn’t thought about in the first place. It makes me feel a bit sad that it finishes now. Nevertheless, I will continue and in the context of my personal project with deeper investigation and exploration. My last large scale drawing will be my point of departure. This cannot be exclusively covered in the frame of this unit. Thus I will continue working on it, incorporating more discerning decisions and looking how to contextualise above mentioned artists. I would like to see which aspects I can explore further and how I can articulate my ideas better with my drawing approach.

My tutor told me what counts at the end is me as an artist. Not the units as such. I really like this and it raised my motivation to work on my ‘parallel project’. He encourages me to continue and if there are better works coming along before my assessment submission in May to incorporate those.

When it comes to large scale work beyond A1, my tutor suggested to split the paper into several ‘A1’ formats so that they can be stuck together for presentation (with clear indication how). He mentioned that several fellow students did do so for assessment.

I do consider moving along the drawing pathway instead the painting pathway (my current one). My next unit is Practice of Painting and after that I think I will have better understanding about drawing vs painting and what makes the difference for me, where I can make a stronger impact.

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