Personal project, Assignment 5 questions

10 July 2016

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


1. Can you see a clear line of progression from source material through to finished piece? Was there enough information in your source material to stimulate your imagination and sustain your enthusiasm?

This experience has been so much better than the final project I did for Textiles 1: A creative approach. I have understood and followed a process which has given me a firm foundation, confidence, and a series of samples to draw from and fall back on when work didn’t go to plan. I can actually see a clear line of progression and I am very pleased with how much easier it has been for me to made decisions at each stage.

I elected to make a new sketchbook for this assignment. This was because although I wanted to use ideas from ‘reveal and conceal’, I felt that my assignment 4 sketchbooks were not sufficiently targeted. By developing a new sketchbook dedicated to the theme of trees, I was able to make a truly coherent set of related drawings, analogies, experiments and samples. Unlike samples I had made in assignment 4, I felt able to pick from, and use them together because they were all related to theme. This gave me plenty of source material.



2. Do you feel you made the right choices and decisions when selecting at each stage of the project? If not what would you change and how would it alter the outcome?


I do feel that I made the correct decisions. However, it was difficult to have to put aside promising samples at stage 3 because they didn’t fit with the focus of the work that I wanted to take forward. In particular I am thinking about the core-spun wire (sample FP7 below).


The only decision that I might wish to reconsider is the colour that I painted the frame. In my initial thinking the frame was to be insignificant (merely a support to hold the fishing line vertical threads, which I envisaged being attached floor to ceiling in and art gallery installation). However, as I was making the piece and photographing it in different settings it became apparent that it worked best against a dark (black) background. In this case, to make the frame ‘disappear’ (or blend into the background) it would have been better to paint in matt black. In the event, I quite like the framed piece and the fact that it has analogies with a window pane and broken glass. It would be easy to cut out pieces of coloured card to ‘test’ the effect of different coloured frames, or ‘crop’ out the frame using photo-editing software to simulate the effect of no frame. 


3. Are there more ideas you would like to pursue that have come out of this project? Are they similar in feeling to the direction you took, or different? Note them down for future reference


There are several ideas which I would like to follow up as a result of work done on this project. Some are early in the project, for example sketchbook work in which I designed a fabric pattern (see below)

I would like to make this design suitable into a repeating pattern and then obtain samples printed onto sheer fabric. The idea, if successful would be to make scarves which I could sell. Perhaps a soft pink and orange colour-way could be explored as an alternative too?

I have already done more work on sample FP7, by making my own batt and core-spinning a longer length of wire.


The photos below show the sample arranged in different configurations on white card:

I find the shadows and negative spaces very appealing, as are the different forms into which the sample can be arranged. It would be interesting to take the idea further by contrasting with thin or smooth threads, and exploring how the sample could be wrapped around objects, so as to interact and form a visual relationship with them. 

Finally, from the idea of using oak leaf shapes. Although these shapes did not give the best visual outcome for my final project, I feel that there is merit in taking the concept further and in a slightly different direction.

My photograph reminds me of botanical specimens, or taxidermy (such a Damien Hirst’s ‘Last Kingdom‘), in which superficially identical (but subtly different) animate or botanical objects are arranged in rows or columns of the the same species.

There is scope for developing the idea of a ‘display case’, drawing on the idea of how each object is subtly different and none are perfect. It could be referenced to topics such as identity, how disability is viewed by society, and stereotyping based on gender, race or nationality.


4. Which stage did you find the most exciting? Which stage was the most arduous and difficult to get through?


Although demanding, I find sketchbook work the most exciting. It is at this stage where I feel the most freedom and a huge amount of excitement as ideas often generate unexpected results and a completely new direction.

For this project I found stage 6 ‘planning and making the final piece’ the most demanding and stressful. Although I had made several small samples, because these were only 9″x12″, it was not possible to test how my idea would work on a large scale other than just trying it out on the large frame (30″x42″). In the event, I had to supplement my work with more sampling and think long and hard about the best way to introduce excitement, tension and rhythm. Not knowing if I was going to be able to achieve a good outcome was stressful.


5. Do you like your finished textile? What are it’s strengths and weaknesses?


I do like my finished piece. I think it’s strengths are it’s feeling of depth and three-dimensionality. It’s weakness is that it’s visual effectiveness is very dependant upon the configuration (light and background) in which it is viewed. Whilst this might not be a disadvantage if it were a fixed installation, as a student it is difficult knowing that assessors will not be able to view my work in the conditions that I would like it to be presented.


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