Contextual studies, Project 1, Stage 1, Research

23 April 2016

Assignment 4, Project 1, Stage 1

This first stage of the project is focused on researching ten key artists and designers listed in the course notes. The focus is on information gathering and collating, and not writing about each one. 

The brief is very general and it would have been all to easy to print off several folders full of information for each artist. I decided this approach was both impractical and counter-productive; a large body of information is useless, unless it has been deciphered and understood.

My dilemma was where to focus. I felt that to keep my research too general would have resulted in a cursory investigation of limited value, whilst delving into too much detail could have produced an overwhelming volume of material. 


I decided to take a balanced approach – I applied the following format to my research for each artist:

  1. Seek out biographies and articles which provide a summaries, so as to understand the status of the artists, their background, influences and interests.
  2. Seek out two more detailed articles, maybe exhibition reviews, journal publications, a book chapter. Of particular interest is if they present a controversial view, new slant or opinion.
  3. Look for interviews or video clips (ideally with the artist to gain first hand information). 
  4. Obtain images as examples of work, particularly if they illustrate major work, different phases of the artst’s career or a changes in approach.

The process of collating and summarising is very important to me. It is during this phase that I examine and rationalise arguments to come to my own conclusions. I draw mental links and formulate ideas (from which I may seek out further information to test assumptions and substantiate or dispel theories). I decided that in order to make the task meaningful, I would annotate my research. My notes include why a particular article was selected, and the salient points it contains. I also decided to write a summary of how the artsit’s work either relates to, or might influence my practice – a really useful exercise for focusing my attention.

References for each artist are included in the bibliography page.


One thought on “Contextual studies, Project 1, Stage 1, Research

  1. Pingback: Contextual Studies, Project 2, Stage 1, Research six artists or designers | Learning log for Textiles 1: Exploring ideas

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