1. Present, in the final exhibition, a resolved body of creative practice that has evidenced the systematic enhancement of your knowledge and understanding.
I have completed the installation of my final exhibition on schedule. I am presenting a resolved body of work that specifically addresses my project proposal – summarised in the question ‘What is the visual language of the inner city’ – and which responds to the research I have undertaken during the MA.
In particular my work demonstrates confidence in a range of materials and processes. These include assemblage, photography, print and paint (specifically stencils and spray paint) – complemented by various digital media.
I also explicitly wanted to show how different approaches to the ‘clarity’ or ‘mystery’ of a work’s meaning can coexist successfully within an artistic practice. I am interested in how viewers understand the work and bring their own interpretation to it - and how this relates to broader issues of accessibility and elitism in the arts. With every piece I have considered, from the outset, how it might be perceived and understood by the viewer.
I have also evidently addressed contextual and social issues in the work – including urban decay, development and housing; violent crime, policing and civil liberties; national and cultural identity etc.
2. Analyse and reflect coherently upon your own practice and its context in both written and verbal forms.
This has been done on my blog; in the video made for symposium 2; as well as during face-to-face contact with staff and students. This is also further elaborated below…
3 (a). Summarise your overall progress (‘evaluate your practice over the 2 years on the course’)
I have found the course interesting and rewarding in many ways, but also very challenging. When I started I had a 13-month old daughter and was working full-time, running my own design business, which is often demanding and stressful. I knew it would be challenging, but I think I underestimated how difficult it can be to find (make?) the time to study alongside childcare and work commitments. I understand better now how making successful art consistently takes time, commitment and money. Despite this I have made some development in my understanding of the creative process, particularly in relation to spontaneity, and allowing materials to direct the work.
I began this course not really considering myself a genuinely practising artist, but as a graphic designer who only occasionally would produce self-initiated projects. I had a strong desire to develop and apply my creative skills for my own work, rather than just for clients. I feel that I have now made significant progress towards this.
3 (b). Formulate a constructive plan for continuing Personal and Professional Development (‘outline some ideas for your future development and what you will do after the course’)
My blog has been presented more as a professional artist’s website rather than just a student blog. This is not disingenuous but intended to help facilitate my professional development immediately after graduation. Sometimes, I think of most of my pieces as just a starting point – as proposals which could be developed, possibly into into a series. I fully intend to continue making work and am currently applying for exhibitions such the ZAP Open and the Deptford X Fringe, as well as considering other opportunities, especially for recent graduates.
In terms of media and skills, I realise that in some ways I have remained in my comfort zone for my final projects - although I feel I definitely have a deeper understanding of them. I now want to explore more fully certain media and processes that I only got an introduction to on the course. These include video, animation, interactivity, projection mapping, Processing, public installation, social engagement/participation. I want to make new work which is more sophisticated, subtle, complex, spontaneous, abstract and ambitious in scale and scope.
As with most students, there have been some compromises in what I set out to do - particularly my ideas for making lightboxes. These compromises have been made mainly due to time and cost constraints and I keen to develop them when possible.
Part of the reason I wanted to do the MA was also because I want to teach more and I will continue to pursue this in various ways. I’m considering doing a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education next - and perhaps in the longer term, a PhD. I also want to fully explore how to apply what I have learned into my design practice, especially regarding the creative process.