Part 5; Reflection on Tutorial

Firstly, I have to say that I pleased and extremely flattered by my tutor feedback. Cari has identified strengths in my work that I intend to use as I move forward onto Ideas and Processes:

  • Drawing skills
  • Eye for composition
  • Thoughtful analysis and reflection
  • Good use of descriptive language and context-specific vocabulary (for this level)

I have often found things that challenge me actually inspire the most learning. Mirroring this, the areas that Cari has identified as not working are really useful. For example:

“The conceptual weight applied [at this point] which doesn’t appear in the earlier development work.”

Right at the beginning of the project I stated I wanted to pursue a process-led investigation and identified my interest in Formalism above all else. I successfully used printmaking and 3D manipulation to explore pattern generation. Then as if from nowhere, I concluded the project with a Conceptual piece. My sketchbook work drops off suddenly, the empty pages stare blankly as if to illustrate my own bewilderment.

To say ‘as if from nowhere’ is disingenuous, on reflection I would attribute my deviation from the brief to two main factors:

The wording of a “Final Piece” – Early on I could see merits in my sampling and I knew I had some strong pieces, I simply did not know how to develop them into a ‘Final Piece”.

Having spoken to Cari, I realise a “Collection” would have been a more suitable conclusion:

“A series of refined printed designs- a family of patterns which share colour and pattern aesthetic but at different scales and density, exploring layering and density of pattern.”

Here I feel Cari is ‘speaking my language’ -this fills me with excitement -this is me!

I think I brought deeply embedded preconceptions to the term ‘A Final Piece’. Despite my project’s clear concern for design principles, I reverted to my Fine Art experience to justify the Quilt/Cloak. To add value I automatically tried to intellectualise it.

My reading and research: As I read about the Art/Craft debate and researched the implications of Sloppy Craft, I allowed myself to become distracted, falling into what Cari described as a ‘rabbit hole’. She is absolutely right when she says I was: “swayed by external perceptions of value” I have a naïve tendency to believe what I read and I need to be mindful of the sources I am using. For Example: has a heavy bias toward art.

Since Textiles straddle Art, Design and Craft, there was nothing inheritantly wrong with my decision to work conceptually; many artists use craft materials and processes in their work. It just wasn’t the right conclusion to the brief I set and the preparatory work I did. I also need to remember why I’m here on a Textiles Course, doing something new.

“Try to ground your reading by considering it against your innate strengths and interests.”

I find it really interesting that my ‘Final Piece’ and the ‘Pseudo Final Piece’ both assumed a flat rectangular form: suitable to be displayed against the wall in a gallery. This seems to be a sort of default setting in me, I need to think more carefully about the context of my work. Think outside of the White Box!

I am keen to move onto my next course but I don’t feel comfortable leaving the project as it stands. I discussed my next steps with Cari:


  • The emotive conceptual reading of the Quilt/Cloak to remain as evidence that I thought about alternative interpretations and contexts.
  • Re-evaluate Quilt/Cloak without reference to concept, ie, using formalist principles.
  • Fill gaps towards end of sketchbook with regard to Quilt/Cloak.
  • Elevate earlier samples through presentation.
  • Support samples with photography.
  • Re-evaluate pattern-based, process-led samples, consider in appropriate context.

Having reviewed my feedback I have clearer ideas about how the project could have been concluded, I will be adding notes about this also. The extent of this remains unclear and I will reconsider when the work is physically in front of me again.




One thought on “Part 5; Reflection on Tutorial”

  1. This reads really positively, Nicki. Great feedback, and a great response from you – the wording of ‘final piece’ is a killer (finding that for IAP5 myself) and the way you’re viewing it with a little distance now is really healthy. It feels like you’ve already tilted the balance back in favour of your own voice and finding the best of your sampling work is so valuable – all of this seems to have set you up very well for IAP.

    Liked by 1 person

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