Part 5; Tutor Feedback

I had an extremely useful video call from Cari yesterday which has given me a lot to think about. I think I have fallen into the same trap as many other students: produced some great preparation work and fallen short with the final piece. I am not remotely deterred by this, in fact this discovery has provided me with much clarity moving forward. I have reproduced her written summary in it’s entirety here for ease of reading but I will be reflecting on it in depth in my next post.

Overall Comments:

This submission demonstrates your beautiful drawing skills and strong eye for composition, and resulted in a varied body of sampling. You’ve reflected on your personal approach to the work in depth, challenging your innate pull towards formalism by exploring conceptualism in more depth.

The development work is full of strong repeat patterns and interesting samplings. Your consideration of the printing plate having as much value as the print itself was interesting, as was the effect of 3D manipulation on the printed patterns. There are lots of gems which could have been extended for a refined outcome. We discussed the potential for developing 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. There’s a beautiful stitched sample which also could have been extended into a series of embroidered print designs. The 3D forms could also have been extended in a similar way to create proposals for a series of hard material forms.

The final piece develops well from the practical exploration but there is conceptual weight applied at this point which doesn’t appear in the earlier development work. Your key concerns early on are process, colour and pattern. We discussed whether the idea of a ‘final piece’ swayed you to produce something with more value or intellectual merit. You’ve research heavily into art vs craft and issues relating to value (stemming from our conversation about you viewing time = valuing in part 4). The final piece uses the printing and pleating processes and has an interesting repeat structure. The conceptual narrative is interesting but review whether it was necessary.

Learning log and contextual research sketchbook:

Really thoughtful analysis and reflection, both of your own work and your contextual research. Great to read you making links back to your earlier evaluations and my earlier feedback as you wrestled with the focus of the final project. The Donald MacKinnon quote perfectly summarises issues explored through feedback and tutorials!

You’ve spent a lot of time thinking, evaluating and making sense of your work in this final project, which drew on threads from earlier parts of this course. You’ve thoughtfully followed up questions posed in our last tutorial about the value of craft and time investment. Your descriptive use of language and context-specific terminology (e.g. formalism) is very good for this level. Your integration of theories relating to art, design and craft and your discussion of artists work to answer questions about your own practise is thoughtful, reflective and clearly developmental. You’ve fallen down a context rabbit hole in researching art vs craft and formalism vs conceptualism in this project and you acknowledged it had influenced the final piece. Focus more on the design context to explore where formalism, aesthetic and process have more perceived (and financial) value. This is an ongoing debate in textiles, so try to ground your reading by considering it against your innate strengths and interests, rather than being swayed to heavily by external perceptions of value and what is “good”. It was fascinating to discuss this with you, and I look forward to perhaps seeing the fruits of the ongoing discussion in the Ideas & Processes work.

Areas to continue working on:

• Maximise the use of drawing! You draw beautifully, so use it more regularly to gather research, visualise your ideas, explore compositions etc.

• Continue to reflect on the context of your work, considering art, design and craft, and the value of aesthetic and formal qualities alongside more conceptual approaches.

Pointers for assessment:

• Reflect on this feedback in your learning log.

• There are lots of gaps in the sketchbook towards the end as you wrestled with the final piece. Complete these to make sense of the final piece and review the value in your more process-led and aesthetically driven work.

• You identified that the final piece was swayed by reading about conceptual art. Your earlier work is more pattern-based and process-led than the final piece, so consider elevating some of the prints by presenting them in collections of designs.

• Lots of your pleated samples need to be seen in 3D to be fully appreciated, so consider submitting photos along with the samples.

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