OCA Textiles 3: Research Assignment One- Response to Formative Tutor Feedback

Graffiti All Over Cotton Velvet Fabric  https://www.timorousbeasties.com/collection/rorschach

Project 1.1-1.4 Critical Review & Evaluation Process

On reflecting upon the constructive feedback, I was immediately appreciative of the quality of the formative tutor feedback to help advance my own learning. I aim to submit my work for formal assessment on completion of the research and personal specialism courses so I am keen to get as much out of this experience as I can for myself and my continuing creative practice. Many positive acknowledgements were offered as there was an appreciation of the amount of research work completed for projects 1.1-1.4. More importantly there were several recommendations and pointers for increased learning and improved outcomes. I valued the emphasis of the feedback…for me to get the most out of this learning process for myself as well as the reminder that my specific research interests must link to my making practice, for me to increasingly make known my personal responses to my influences and choices made.

While my selection process was based on being influenced by Grayson Perry, Timorous Beasties and Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor I could have included more of myself within the review processes to increase the level of personal response. Given the nature of the 500-word review process I had produced reams of research which included a range of information which required several draft editions. Some earlier drafts had included more personal responses, so the tutor feedback made me think about why I hadn’t included more of myself. On reviewing Grayson Perry: Julie Cope’s Grand Tour at the Dovecot I could have readily included more of a personal slant as a long-term fan and follower of his work. I could have included discussion concerning my love of colour and its use throughout my own printmaking and tapestry weaving work, of my relationship to and with colour, of how it makes me feel as well as how Grayson Perry’s work resonates with me and my emotional response to his work within the exhibition. On reflecting why not? I recognised that often my prior academic experiences especially from the third person expectations…to maintain enough of a required distance from the research process can get in the way of me, myself being known. The tutor’s feedback was liberating and freeing to give me the formal consent I required to let go… to increasingly see myself as an intrinsic part of the research process. Julie Cope’s Tour examined an ordinary life lived with all its missed and wasted opportunities which resonated with me, of the need to capitalise upon life and living within the present moment as that’s all we really have and then it’s gone. Such an exhibition evoked loss and change, which sparked a renewed energy in making the most of every moment.

So much more could have been included if it were not for the 500-word limit and my preference to focus upon colour and construction. The gallery curation could have included greater comment on the layout and styling of the exhibition, what went where and why…of what was prioritised within the Dovecot. Of particular note was the size of the tapestries which were possibly not shown to their best as they had to be displayed at a 45 degree angle to fit into the gallery spaces with low ceilings which diminished their monumental scale, presence and restricted the capacity to get up close and examine the tapestries. That said my own interests around colour and the making of tapestries naturally drew me towards the tapestry’s construction and colour work. In doing so I could have included a personal link to my own use of vibrant colour schemes in my making, of the meaning of such colours and of the underlying narratives within the tapestry weaving, of the difference of seeing the tapestries in the flesh and how that can affect your relationship with the textile art on show.

The Design Report focused upon the Timorous Beasties and several of their printed design collections for interiors including textiles and wallpapers. Again, I was intent on producing a review centred upon them so focused more on the textile designers themselves and their influences, ways of working and underlying themes. I could have acknowledged greater personal connections and references to my interests with interiors, screen printing and related processes, the use of dynamic and vibrant layered colour schemes on pile fabrics and abstracted imagery as adopted by the Timorous Beasties. More focus could have been spent on their contemporary subversive use of printed textiles to provoke and elicit a response, to create printed interiors that stir a reaction. I too like to create impactful imagery from unusual materials using dynamic colour schemes and varying the range of scale and pattern upon pattern. Their rich printed textiles and wallpapers have helped to change how many now see interiors and how others work with interiors to alter their relationship with interiors including myself. This review reinforced my interest in textiles, design and interiors, of my preference to focus upon the use of materials for contemporary interiors for the research process. Of my intention to research more widely who does what, why and how in interiors, who says what about whom to include more primary and secondary sources of research within my own research processes going forward.

The critical review of textile artist and designer Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor evolved through knowing her work and being strongly influenced by such work. Knowing this… more links could have been made concerning how this fed and fuelled my own making as the tutor recommended.  In being able to interview this textile artist I could have used this to expand upon the similarities in making especially within her earlier work instead of simply referencing this briefly. I have naturally been drawn to her screen-printed textile art for interiors for years with her use of shape, texture, line and colour. As a result, I have increasingly utilised shapes and line with abstracted texture but used a bolder colour palette. I have however capitalised upon alternative sources including significant and individual natural and man-made objects within collections which are personal to me to fuel the making process to create impactful textiles. That said I was deeply affected by her work concerning emotional journeys and how she communicated this through her imagery. Looking at, reflecting upon and understanding another’s journey made me think of my own personal journeys and of the potential to include more of my own journey within the research and making processes. The tutor’s feedback has helped me to realise the scale of scope and possibilities that I have to connect my own work including the use of imagery with the work of others to what is happening currently around me to validate my own contemporary approach moving forward. I also aim to connect my research and making through increased use of my research file, sketchbook and log.

The initial project work concerning my critical review processes enabled me to learn more about myself including my strengths and weaknesses. I naturally felt throughout project 1.1 more able to discuss myself as it was specifically about me which was acknowledged in the tutor’s feedback. ln affording myself the time to review my latest learning log I recognised the flaws. I was able to see the learning log afresh and acknowledged the scale of description and limited depth of analysis. As Cottrell (2017, p.201) noted describing is not enough in itself…more critical thinking and reflection is required. With improved understanding of my previous reflective process and renewed understanding of what is required I feel better prepared to review at depth. Through increased revision of related critical thinking and reflection models alongside the review process I was able to understand the reason for my writing. In not completing my learning log concurrently alongside my creative process it was not embedded within it and so many important moment to moment learning experiences had been lost. As a result of such a review process and tutor feedback I have increasingly adopted a different more engaging relationship to my online learning log alongside my sketchbook and research file whereupon I now see all elements as an essential and positive part of my ongoing learning process. Through continuing engagement in recording and making known my research and making processes to myself and others I will be more able to reflect-in-action critically with increased in-depth evaluation and review of my experiencing to know what is happening and why… to know now what (Schon, 1983).

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