My immediate response is relief. I have been trying to work on so many levels with Part 5 that at times it has been difficult, even though I have tried to direct myself more specifically and critically, to stand back enough to see where I am going.
To have, as always such a sensitive and supportive report which is also challenging as well as penetrating is a joy. There are so many questions, suggestions, thoughts, impressions as well that I need/want to unpick over time that the future feels very rich.
Just to contextualise the reasons for taking the OCA degree was that I had nothing and no-one to bounce off or with whom to have a creative conversation. As I come to the conclusion of this first part of the course I am more than ecstatic about moving forward with my work. This is no exaggeration having taken a lifetime to get to this point. However, I am more than aware that it is that lifetime/my lifetime that I am now working with and is such a rich source for engagement.
Without going over every particular suggestion or comment I would say that this is a very fair precis of where I am at the moment. Some pieces/materials/sections have been more successful than others. But at the same time the breadth of the investigation has been necessary and useful.
Although I have worked hard to integrate academic resources and other artist’s work in my evaluations this is not a natural process and I have to continue to build my process in order to make this a more natural flow of thoughts and ideas. As yet I am finding this part difficult to hold – in terms of feeling comfortable with understanding some of the ideas. My perception is fleeting and I am endeavouring to capture this thought process in different ways including using Evernote so that the fleeting is hooked in the moment.
The other factor is that there are so many levels and studies that I have undertaken in Part 5. I need to give myself time and space to stand back from all this.
Needs More Attention
I believe that working on Part 5/Assignment 5 has opened up some really big questions. The variety of the investigations has helped in this process. Clearly by stopping and looking at the learning model,slowing down and standing back has helped in the articulation of some of the thinking and contextualising of my work so far.
The important part now is to allow myself to stay in the question without feeling that I have to come to a resolved answer/piece of work. With this comes the selection for the overall assessment where I have chosen pieces that “tell the story” of my work through the whole of Drawing 1. As an exercise in itself it has been a very useful part of the learning process.
At the last stage of putting together my Assignment 5 I attended an all day life drawing day.
I saw this exercise as a continuation of the previous multi-faceted drawings.
As the piece became larger and more complex I worked on it from different angles and positions.
What finally emerged was a complex amalgamation of the figure. Currently I enjoy this particular aspect which has other figures emerging on the right hand side. It could be interesting to draw from this image and/or overwork the piece.
I have included this under conclusion because I think it is an indication of future direction of work.
Overall Comments Thank you, Trisha, for submitting Assignment Five for Drawing 1. You have taken up my suggestion to integrate yourself much more in your written reflective practice and I have to say that you have done extremely well throughout this whole assignment. It is now much clearer through your writing as to what you are thinking and you are asking yourself many more questions about why you are working in the way you are as well as unpacking the overall context. You have integrated your artists research much more, particularly through Drawing and have managed to put together a highly personalised, driven project for this last Assignment. Your academic writing now includes good secondary research too. Your writing around becoming a woman particularly resonates. We will talk through the work you wish to present for the assignment in a few days.
From Roll on to Shapewear – my bodily journey Own anatomy as metaphor exploring the human condition through Drawing.
Feedback on assignment
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
It was agreed that you should make:
• An enquiry looking particularly at material exploration using the subject matter as text • Series of drawings and makings
• Responses to drawings – lots of self – critical analysis and reflection • writing about why you are interested in this material
• looking at other people’s work about identity and ask yourself a series of questions.
• maybe become voyeuristic with a camera and focus in on skin.
You have got off to a great start by pulling your work apart to view it from the outside rather than keeping it inside. You have taken a step back to review the work so far and this will really help you have a good sense of what you need to present for the formal assignment. It would be a good idea to present a body of work with the emphasis on this last assignment whilst including drawings to support this. You can include objects, photos and so on but we can talk about this next week on the phone.
Working through material investigation is something that you do naturally. This research practice is fine and it is good to see that you now have supporting evidence that this is a ‘real thing’ for a lot of creative people.
I think that you are starting to become confident in working with non – representational drawing. It feels to me like the work you are making is much more expressive as well as being much more about the experiential. Your interests in the darker, blacker work of Redon and Peere have allowed you to really extend the more representational objects (the underwear) into more personal drawings that incorporate text and dolls. I think again that showing these drawings in series from the object to the drawings and so on will work well as a ‘series’ in the formal assignment portfolio. Any further developments between now and then can also be considered. Again, linking text with objects is another way to represent your ideas so the sketchbook for Assignment 5 fits that quite nicely in terms of supporting the body of work that you have accumulated over time.
I really like the links you are making between photograph (of your skin) with the image (and this can be object for assessment) in terms of the curatorial and for presentation. Stripping back your wall has allowed you to edit and see hopefully much more clearly. I can feel you editing as you are thinking and writing on your blog. Lots of discernment going on which is great.
Imprinting as in genetic sense as well as in the physical could have room to expand on at a later date, you have provided some very insightful comments here. I am wondering why you think cloth is cheating…paper and cloth have very similar elements to them.
The imprints in cloth onto paper remind me of shrouds. I think wrapping a body in cloth and imprinting could produce very interesting drawings…the trace of the female form, over time could fit into your project at a later date quite happily, again I don’t want to confuse things for you anymore.
I like the ‘frottage’ drawings that are being made through the stencil and collage work in your sketchbook. For me, although no resolved take drawing elsewhere. They are a very physical part of what is essentially your thought
process. You have analysed this well, this part of your practice is really progressing now.
Latex and skin layers of skin
Again, in terms of investigative drawings these work well. Although perhaps abstract on their own think about if you did present them, then how would this look? Working through your materials here, don’t worry too much about trying to make sense of them otherwise they may become a little too literal. Although I recognise that working through the monoprints process, these are interesting investigations but feel less resolved.
Moving on with different approaches
Again, lots of material investigation. I am reading the words collapsing and deflation. The theatre of skin idea is interesting, it still feels to me like you are trying out new things. It may be that you need to work on one or two things next and really get to know them through material investigation on a much deeper level. I like the idea of ‘Impressions of Surface’ as it seems very fitting again.
Impressions of surface.
Again, a frottage drawing. These feel like they having a bit of running power to me. Could you draw/paint/project more? As they are on tracing paper perhaps lots of layers could be worked on at once? Delicate, pink paintings or drawings would look quite beautiful perhaps or they could be scrunched up of course…
You have been brave to go out in the woods skin on skin and these again are an interesting extension within your practice. I am wondering if you manage to do more whether colour could relate as well as texture perhaps as it has been so integral to everything else you have been doing recently. Will this work be taken into drawing or create cut ups or be presented crumple up…for me it seems like the touching of skin against bark is important.
You have unpacked theses shows well, a good development there, well done.
We have talked through this. It works well including everything that needs to be said for now, well done.
I love the idea and thoughts behind the 7 layers of skin drawing. Kathe Kollwitz’s work is very strong and I can see her influence.
Theatre of Skin Drawing
Working with The Theatre of Skin has produced a great drawing. The documentation on the blog works well. You have analysed and evaluated very clearly the process and the reasoning behind this approach. This is a real step forward in terms of drawing I feel.
There is definitely more room to develop this for the future as it embraces the doll, fragments, colour and context of the work you have been pursuing. On a personal level I would love to see this on a much bigger scale so that it felt almost all consuming or perhaps life sized?
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
Great personal enquiry happening as usual in your sketchbook. Select a few that think best represent your body of work for formal assessment.
Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays
Your learning log is easy to follow and the content easy to digest. Visual links to research and other content works well and overall you are writing extensively as well as critically. You are clearly engaged in Contemporary Drawing as an area of study and you have manage to write a very competent artists statement.
Check your work critically against the assessment criteria for the whole of Drawing 1. I think you have done this already but just double check it against the assessment work when collated. Go back and add or alter work that you feel needs a revisit and demonstrate what you have done and why in your learning log in support of your action.
• Demonstration of technical and visual skills
• Quality of outcome
• Demonstration of creativity
Pointers for the formal assignment
• Check what is required for you to send for formal assessment
• Apply for formal assessment
• Read through my reports and make sure that your submission reflects what I consider to be good work to support your submission. Include works that you think work well against the criteria i.e. in context with both primary and secondary research. Ask if you need any help with putting work forward for submission.
Strengths / Areas for development
Working with materials to problem solve
Don’t be afraid to continue to stop, look back and evaluate and edit. It’s always good to take stock and then realign your ideas whenever possible.
Knowing the context for your interests
Continue to underpin your investigations but reading deeper into your subject to underpin the making.
Responding to tutor guidance
This last assignment has really made you unpack your ideas to see if the making is on target. Continue to do this as it will strengthen the work.
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Webb, P. 2010. Death, desire and the doll: the life and art of Hans Bellmer. Gardena Calif: Solar Books.
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I have decided to submit my Assignment 5 as a series of work which investigates my subject in a variety of ways.
As a dyslexic many of my thoughts appear between the lines of text and image. By misreading, misinterpreting, via puns on words I often cannot spell, mis- pronounce or understand I find myself thinking in a space between. Nonetheless I am obsessed by the depth of experience that individual words can evoke.
What occupies this in-between space is a disrupted (interpreted) identity of ideas dominated by a lifetime of fascination with the body, my body, bodies of others, the mother, the child, the female. Viewing, thinking, feeling from both inside and outside the lived experience of my own body and the present continuing engagement with ageing – change and memory.
Bearing no nostalgia for the past, I live/think my life as near to stripped bare of the pretension of the constructed female. Having experienced the 50s, 60s and 70s and the changing containment of women’s body experience I am hyper-sensitive to this constructed ideal of the cultural female gender. Particularly the expectation of response to the male gaze (Mulvey) which has continued to bear an even stronger influence as the internet and social media gathers pace.
Through looking at the most recent manifestation of enclosure (historic) the shapewear garment I have particularly concentrated on this maternity piece. Its forlorn form now an empty vessel, abandoned, no longer useful shape epitomises aspects of female experience which bring together thoughtful conflicts. The expansion and contraction of the belly, the skin, stretch marks and then finally into wrinkles, age spots and blemishes. This is depicted both through the drawings and the construction piece and its deflated form.
The Theatre of Skin I have built endeavouring to mark the 7 ages of woman via images that evoke both my era and my experiences so far. During the period of time developing the different approaches I have particularly looked at the work of Hans Bellmer, Francesca Woodman, Otto Dix, Kathe Kollwitz, Cathie Pilkington and Paula Rego. These artists evoke stark truths which appeal to my tendency towards a lack of romanticism.
Through photography, drawing, construction I am seeking to display (perform) in series and in parallel a number of threads which make up my inquiry. By layering , covering and then revealing I seek further to find the points in memory and image that capture moments formerly suppressed or forgotten – like the looking backwards through the orifice of the doll parts to pre-birth. Aiming inevitably to finding a series of personal truths.
I have endeavoured in this part of the course to widen my material explorations and indeed started the journey with a wide variety. However I realised quite quickly that I was not doing anything new but just submitting these new materials as a way of approaching the subject differently not but not essentially engaging with it.
Moving on I engaged much more in using the materials and method to interpret the subjects ie. embossing, frottage, drawing and rubbing back, revealing, layering, hiding , covering, so there was a shift into the doing being an active ingredient of the outcome.
The variety of approaches has led to a more interesting and diverse exploration of my subject mater. I believe I am only beginning to touch the surface literally of how to use some of the techniques to fully interpret the ideas.
Whilst I have gained some refinement in my drawing skills since beginning this course I am aware that as I aim to work on multi-layered work I need to acquire greater control over the chosen methods. Control in this case could mean more aptitude to use spontaneous action as and when required. I have learned to take more time and commit to choices before starting a drawing. Also not to spend too long on any phase of work as this tends to tighten the outcome.
Quite honestly I find this difficult to assess for this part. A variety of ideas have been presented in a variety of ways. How these are judged in terms of quality I am not sure myself what criteria to bring to bear.
That I experienced some transformational thinking in terms of approach has meant that this/these piece/s of work has/have been the start of an important journey. I have enjoyed engaging with the diversity of materials and methods. I believe the different “characters” of this series show a growing confidence to spread my ideas more horizontally in order to gain depth laterally. However at this stage I am phased by whether the different aspects – are part of the same or diverse interpretations of “my story”.
By working on different series or experiences in parallel I have opened up my understanding of drawing from formal representation to experiential enactment. I am now touching the beginnings of personal interpretive methods which are far from honed but have moved away from “doing a good drawing”.
In the pursuit of diverse interpretations the thinking behind phenomenology has captured my attention as a way of understanding some of “the things the mind already knows” (Jasper Johns). Bringing these different and connected aspects into the light. I believe myself to be in the state of conscious unknowing in relation to this phase of my investigation.
I have enjoyed this section of the course enormously – being free to go in my own directions has provided a rich platform of work. Working with contrary viewpoints and interpretations has allowed a freeing up of my creative vocabulary although when, like at this time, having to “explain or interpret” I am still finding a difficult challenge/hurdle – words not being my thing.
By taking the learning model by the horns this time and keeping to its reflective methods has enabled me to move beyond the “just doing more of the same with different materials” type of work. I have also benefited from starting to read some more academic books and articles which has opened up thinking about the nature of drawing, the body in contemporary art, and feminist visual cultural interpretation.
I believe I have begun to enter a new realm of understanding:-
“conceptual drawing encourages a journey round associative thought that does not have to be logical or resolved, …provokes an aggregation of memories, and impedes access to resolved meanings.” (John Berger)
Truly I don’t have anything else to add at this stage of my drawing journey.
This is the multi-layer drawing – 20 minutes each layer – admittedly I only got to 6 layers as I did not know what I wanted to use for menopause/crone/old age. Worked on pre-ink dyed paper, water soluble crayons, pencils, graphite pencils, charcoal, rubber, craft knife.
My immediate response is that I am drawn into this piece. I am particularly intrigued by the mood, lighting which recalls the noir drawings and my interest in this genre. There is something of the ancient about the tones which have been kept within quite a tight range. The drawing was produced under controlled circumstances in order not to over-draw any section. Although time was taken after each section to reflect and in some cases adjust or reassert small sections. Some concern as to how readable the images are or indeed whether they need to be at all remains a question.
This asks further questions about what is happening and why certain parts are more distinct than others. Looking into the piece the lower right section appears to be complicated anatomy. I am not sure what is inside and what is outside. The beguine armless doll in the background lies inert on a stage that is a hive of action or if not action supposition. The “tags” of the womanhood figure here elongated anchor the figure within the space and define different areas of the composition.
There are crevices and dark caves within the structure that may hide truths or memories and could be further excavated. Building up the layers and definition has achieved a bolder conclusion. However there could have been decisions about single or multiple lighting – as in stage acts – that might reveal more interesting aspects of thought. and intention.
Further by keeping to a general similar method of drawing limits the emotional aspects of any particular layer. On the one had that could indicate a similar flat, un-demonstrative, repressed existence. Alternatively building using different processes could add a richness – print, collage, ink, etc.
Detail of the top half – where a skull seems to be emerging below the doll. – with a light-lance through its cranium.
Complicated anatomy of the lower half , child resting on the large footprint of the past. Also possible to see the effect of the graphite on sections. This contrast in finish and its response to the light need more working to achieve a glistening finish.
This week at my life drawing class the task was to draw on the same piece of paper 3 images of the model for 20 minutes each finding ways to bring the images together.
Not sure why but chose in each place to use 2 sheets of paper which I had pre-inked. this way there is already a dimension of perspectives to work with.
In this first drawing it seemed important to build in the perspective of the space both inner and outer in order to add further dimension to the drawing. I had been looking at images by Dorothea Tanning and thought that I have brought this surrealist element into this image. As I built the layers the context of the space became more and more important. However I have lost the dimensionality of the figure – except in the head – over the whole figure.
What interests me is the concept of the over drawing so that not ending up with a single significant outline or edge the drawing seeks to extend the “space” of the figure into the environment. This has not been as successfully achieved in the final piece – perhaps I should have taken images of the different stages so that I can analyse in retrospect the important dimensions. Whilst turning towards the viewer the figure achieves some movement which is contrasted with the stability of the stuffed fox dummy (cast template for a taxidermy fox).
In this second drawing I have chosen a 2 directly contrasting pieces of pre-inked paper and have endeavoured to leave more of the lines of the 3 different poses in tack. I think this is more successful and interesting. Detail of lines and edges are more deliberate and the “memory” of the earlier poses are not completely obliterated as in the previous example.
(Couldn’t resist putting this extra drawing in which was 2 x 30 minute poses on the same sheet – the following week)
Looking back at these various Dorothea Tanning paintings and through the experience of the 3 x 20 minute poses I see a way forward to working with the 7 ages of woman or The Theatre of Skin. It leads towards a deliberate way by working with the layers :-
When doing these drawings I caught for the first time a means of capturing the inner and outer experience through drawing the body – a body, my body. Making the vestigial marks part of the memory both of the drawing and of the experience of a phase of life and skin.
Also becoming more particular in choices brought to the concept of the drawing, i.e. materials and supports, as well as consideration of the stages undertaken. This I believe is an influence of looking at the lithographs of Kathe Kollowitz (see Exhibitions). The remarkable but often spare use of different mark making devices. Struck by how the non-worked space adds drama and contrast to the overworked parts.
Unemployed – Kathe Kollwitz
Having experienced the beginnings of an idea of the way to bring together the 7 layers of skin/women through working on different layers of a drawing which is time limited and worked on top of each other. Have decided to do one more drawing of The Theatre of Skin working on this principle.
I will complete a drawing working for 20 minutes on each layer – probably using the same materials on a pre-inked sheet. My aim to to see how to incorporate or obliterate pieces of the “story”. Because of the timing I will not seek further images to depict the stages but stick with the ones I have for the moment.
This will be the final drawing in the series.