REVIEWING TEXTILES 1 A CREATIVE APPROACH
Having completed my final assignment for part 5 I can now look back over the last 11 months to review how I have progressed. Towards the end of this final project I looked back at the work I did at the very start of the course. We started with making marks. Looking back now these marks look quite tentative and very contained in terms of size. I decided therefore to create a sketchbook of new marks. I was interested to see if my mark making had changed. I have tried to work in a freer way. I have taken a number of workshops as well as having used the course materials and have, I believe taken more risks than I would have done had I not been encouraged to do so by the course and especially by my tutor.
Starting with some very large and rapid sketches I developed a number of sheets based on a very simple still life and using a range of materials in black, white and grey. Working in this large format I was challenged to make as many different marks as possible.
I then set about editing and cutting out the most interesting parts of the large sketches. I ended up with a range of small sketches which I am already excited about and can see the possibilities for translation in to textiles. I will add this sketchbook in as an example of my other work along with my work for review to my tutor.
When I started the course I wrote a brief note on what I hoped this course would do for me. At the time of writing I wanted to be stretched more than I had doing craft based textiles course. I was keen from the outset to pursue a degree and stated at the time that I wanted to develop my skills in art and design and was inclined to move in a fine art direction. It was my ambition to complete the course within a year. I have done that and whilst the demands of more advanced courses will increase I feel more secure now that I can manage to complete and enjoy my course alongside my full time job. I am keen to work and mixed media and have done a bit of that this year but can the potential to explore this further in later course unit.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the course. My work has not always gone in the direction I thought it would and I enjoyed parts of the course I thought I would be less keen on. I think that is a very big positive.
Working to a large extent in isolation is a bit challenging in distance learning but I got a lot of support from the study visits I went on and making sure that I got to lots of exhibitions and read widely was a key part of helping me build a context for my work despite the distance element of the learning. I felt the further reading and exploration suggested by my tutor was really very valuable in that regard. One of the first questions my tutor asked me when we first spoke was ‘ who are the textile artists you are most influenced by’. This question had me stumped. I knew of some textile artists of course but was certainly not fluent in talking about their work, context and influence in the way that I able to do with painters or sculptors. Whilst I have still much to learn in this regard I am much more confident now and have really widened my knowledge and understanding of many textile artists. I look forward to continuing this aspect of my learning as well as developing my own skills and capacity to grapple with complex concepts in my work.