Contextual studies, Assignment 4 questions

29 May 2016

This blog entry records my response to the following course note questions:

1. Did you find this more theoretical approach helpful, interesting, inspiring, restrictive or boring?

The research has been extremely inspiring. I have seen how artists, craftspeople and designers came to be recognised in their careers, how they used sketchbooks, where they got their inspiration and whether they collaborated or worked alone. In some instances there has been direct read across to work which I have done in the assignments (either through process or source or inspiration). Even work with no apparent association has been valuable by giving insight into use of colour, composition, application of ideas, or sheer determination of the artist/designer to succeed.


2. Were you already familiar with some of the designers and artists in the set list? Whose work was completely new to you? How did you respond to it?

I was familiar with only a few of the individuals in the list; Zandra Rhodes, Issey Miyake and Tracey Emin. Of these I had a complete misconception about the work of Zandra Rhodes, which my research has dispelled. Far from being a garish woman producing equally garish and over-the-top, much of her clothing is subtle and it is beautifully conceived. Her sketchbook work is incredible and I hope to learn from how she uses museums collections, landscapes and cultural influences to inform her work.

Because I have captured my responses to the work of each of the artists/designers within my research, it seems unnecessary to duplicate it here. At the beginning of each section I have listed how their work relates to, or how it might influence my practice. I have also made comments in response to some of the articles or images within the body of my research.


3. Did you find the questions we gave helpful as a basis for your analysis? If not, how would you have preferred to approach this task?

I found that the questions very helpful (although so of the answers were difficult to find!) I like the structure that the questions provide and I will use them in future as a basis for commenting on artwork (see my blog entry on the medieval paintings at Thornham Parva, and work of Jonathan Lloyd). 


4. Do you think that an awareness of the context in which work is produced will influence the way in which you approach your own work in the future?


Yes. Before these contextual studies I had little knowledge of most of the artists/designers in the set list. Now I can approach my work knowing what has gone before, aware of some of the major movements and styles, and (if appropriate) building on political or social ideas.


5. Do you feel stimulated to do more research work of this nature in your own time?


Yes. The research which I did for this assignment has already inspired me with fresh ideas and made me think, in particular about feminist art and how the nature of the art, and materials in use has changed. The set questions have led me to areas of exploration which I have found highly stimulating. For example. In researching Jonathan Lloyds work “Altarpiece in dazzle camouflage” (inspired by the retable at Thornahm Parva, Suffolk), I have investigated the history of dazzle camouflage and the recent work of Sir Peter Blake.


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