The main event of the day has been my first 1:1 tutorial with course leader Maiko. We went over my draft proposal, as well as I could manage to explain it. I still have a tendency to wander off into philosophical discourse and forget that we are supposed to have a visual object somewhere in there. Current working title: Seen / Unseen
The main points I came away with were the following:
- split main project into smaller sub-sections which have specific outcomes – this will help not only to focus my making but will ensure that what I am doing is with intent and aligned to the overall proposal
- don’t learn new skills for the sake of it, experiment with purpose, make with intent
- Maiko asked if I was intending to continue using with my current main medium, namely fabric and stitching – the answer is most certainly yes in some form, although I am keen to explore the properties and synergies with other materials. I am reminded of the tale of one of the second year MADM students who tried for a year to break away from her medium only to end right back there at the end. Babies and bath water?
- Making is good, reading is good and experimenting is good – but keep on making. I will need to balance this as I go. Also need to balance how much I try to do with formal plans (I am known for a lot of meticulous planning – I did have a spreadsheet and Gantt chart for our wedding) with working on instinct.
- what am I doing all of this for? Not having a clear objective for the end of the course means that it is not as easy to focus my efforts to achieving this at the end. Perhaps it is time to put a line in the sand, or at least define what personal objectives I have for doing the MA
So a lot there, and all very helpful comment and direction.
I have been mulling this over a little this evening while watching despicable me (minions!) on TV and flicking through the pile of library books I’ve not yet found time to open. A quite unnerving co-incidence met me when I opened up a random book on the basics of thrown ceramics (by David Cohen) on the chapter on technical vocabulary and visual vocabulary. I was so taken by the relevance of this, I have a captured a long extract below:
“Technical competence and knowledge in any medium are never enough to realise visual intention. Technical knowledge responds only to the mechanics of how material and physical relationships function. Although important this competence will only serve to answer technical questions…critical questions [which] lead to the deeper investigation of personal choice in relation to design [are]:
- What am I to do? (intention)
- How am I to do it? (Selection)
- Why this way….what if I….? (Critical assessment)
Intention is a conscious consideration applied to the process of selection. Critical assessment can only be realised in relation to a series of forms, based on the same intention, which are assessed when side by side. It is through critical assessment that subtle changes are made, not only in developing the form, but adding other elements which can enhance personal expression.
- The intention is to investigate a series of works within a particular idea
- Select a form or combination of forms to be used in the series
- Apply abstract analysis for critical assessment of the series”
Technical and visual vocabularies in relation to the final product cannot be separated.”
Uncanny indeed. My first action is going to be to define some mini-projects using this principle which will contribute to my project context. Oh and to finish my pot!
More to follow….