OCA Textiles 3: Sustaining My Practice- Response to Formative Tutor Feedback

Part 4 – Assignment 4

Gillian Morris (2021) “I can see a future I want to be in” as part of the five-panel installation. Mental Health Recovery- A Visual Account of Emotional Repair 195cm x 300cm Screen-Printed Vintage Linen Bedsheets using intuitive emotional relating with the materials. Various greys, black, sugarplum pink, and pomegranate printing inks used on vintage dyed grey linen which explored reduced emotional arousal with hand stitching for repair.

My most recent formative tutor feedback from assignment work including our Google Meet on Tuesday 26th October continues to be invaluable for my ongoing professional development. I have valued such continuing support to exhibit, to fully optimise such an opportunity to get the most from it. As a result, I was able to prepare for the exhibition to include all that was required to put on a professional solo show which was very well received by other artists and the visiting public. Such tutor feedback has helped to keep me on track and to realise a successfully installed exhibition as noted by Lizzy Levy…

Well-done, Gillian you have continued to work in a professional and accomplished manner in order to create a successfully installed exhibition. This opportunity and site resulted in your active engagement with WASPS, utilising their workshop spaces as well as forging important relationships with artists and practitioners. You have documented the show very effectively within your online website using very good photographic imagery that illustrates the whole process from empty exhibition spaces through to installation. This is methodically recorded with strong artist’s statement and exhibition description as well as strengthening analytical commentary as you gain confidence in your position as a practitioner.

Throughout this formative feedback many successful outcomes were mentioned by Lizzy Levy which I had supported with relevant research whether relating to installation techniques or supportive agencies regarding funding opportunities or widening my audience. My tutor noted that my work continues to gather momentum, with strong, impactful outcomes. My creative work and processes have been fully evidenced and exhibited well via my exhibition. That said Lizzy Levy acknowledged that such work also holds great potential for further development which we discussed during our Google Meet. My tutor stressed that the rips, tears, and repair are particularly emotive and expressive, I plan to continue to develop this creative process and work beyond the parameters of this degree process especially as I now have provision for two further exhibitions early next year.

Lizzy Levy said that I had successfully explored further the idea of a place and space for my work throughout part 4 which was clearly evidenced within all my assignment 4 work. As noted, WASPS offered an important site to engage in interactions with people, the space suited my work and creative process and what I wanted to achieve. I had visited numerous WASPS artist studio complexes in Glasgow and other related exhibition sites and was fortunate to be able to use my preferred site as it fitted the creative work and narrative best including how I wished to show my work for it to be seen. I had a clear picture of the spaces available and planned accordingly, regarding scale, dimensions, installation techniques and methods of hanging/framing. As I had worked within the WASPS studios for so long, I had forged important relationships with practitioners and undertaken the necessary research required for setting up the solo show. Lizzy Levy added that my use of WASPS both as a studio space and exhibition site evidenced my ability to utilise professional places to both make work and show works. Here, my creative output is contextually at home within this setting. This is a well-conceived and well-executed show.

Lizzy Levy also stated that I had gleaned significant information within my ‘Personal Funding Research File’ including ‘Summary Information for Funding Sources- Calls for Work, Residences, Crowdfunding, Sponsorship, & Self-funding’. My tutor noted that I had consolidated a large body of relevant and useful information relating to funding opportunities and that it was good to see that I had already planned ahead concerning self-funding. As I am already engaged with Creative Scotland and Craft Scotland, I am aware of all significant grant funding options including open funds available for Scottish-based artists including monies available for the development of new larger-scale work, for workshop fees and studio rent, etc. I plan to continue to look out for any exciting opportunities that have the potential to expand my practice, methodology and audience.

In regard to ‘Presentation Methods’, Lizzy Levy acknowledged that it was good to see that I continue to actively engage in research that informs how practicing artists install their works. This knowledge has supported me in finding contemporary, relevant, and impactful installation techniques which has also been supported by Joanna Kinnersly-Taylor, Textile Artist. As suggested by my tutor I intend to continue to seek, visit and engage with exhibitions experiencing the numerous, innovative ways of showing creative works. As time affords, I plan to increasingly sketch as well as use my camera and mobile to record what I see and feel to continue to deepen my engagement including emotional resonance between myself and my own and others work.

Lizzy Levy noted that I had produced a body of work that demonstrated a high level of visual, aesthetic, and technical understanding of the processes I have adopted. The works exhibited illustrated my skills in print, manipulation of material surface and stitch. These were professionally produced with discernment, resulting in aesthetically pleasing and impactful installation pieces. Such feedback has been fully appreciated and aided my professional growth as a textile artist. It was emphasised that I had undertaken a major project in textiles that does effectively demonstrate a personal identity that my work is uniquely innovative as it expresses my experiences as a psychologist as well as family heritage and personal experience. It has been important that materials have provenance giving a sense of human strife within the bedlinen. The marks and colours reflected parts of the mind, the neural connections made. My work has gathered pace embracing elements that have meaning within my own life so, the work becomes more powerfully unique as my confidence has grown in expressing personal matters through creative practice. I really valued the tutor’s acknowledgement of my hard work, methodical planning in the development and refinement of my works as much effort, time, research, creative focus and emotion was required to create such print and stitch on dyed vintage linen.

As noted by my tutor and my own increased awareness I am highly conscious of my virtual and online presence as I chart my ongoing creative journey effectively via my website and social media sites. That said more work and follow up is still required as I increasingly move into professional practice. My website weaveprint.com has included well-articulated exhibition and artist’s statements as well as all the related exhibition literature and information. Such a website has been ideal for my OCA academic process for this degree programme as I have contemporaneously documented my creative processes and research for all to see. Going forward I aim to develop a new website which is more suitable for professional practice as discussed with Lizzy Levy.

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