Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Assignment 5 - Tutor Report

Overall Comments
This final assignment demonstrates a steady development in your technical and visual skills over the five assignments. You are now able to make more considered choices in terms of the selection of materials, techniques and processes and your visual awareness and compositional abilities have become more acute. You have recognized the need to focus your thinking more clearly on the task in hand and this has resulted in significant progress in relation to a more creative development of ideas from starting point to final outcome. As your confidence grows, I think you will feel more assured about taking risks with your work. Your logbook and reflections on your progress and assignment outcomes show me that you have become increasingly able to make pertinent observations about your own work and that of others. You have made very steady progress throughout the course and a key development is your willingness to take a more open minded and enquiring approach to your work. Congratulations on the successful completion of the course, Donna. 

Feedback on Assignment: Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity
Stage 2: Focusing on a Theme: Funghi
Although it took you a little while to narrow down your choices, I think that you undertook some valuable research in order to arrive at your final decision. You produced a competent documentation of your ideas and visual stimulus in your theme book and justified why you changed your focus over the course of completing this final assignment. I felt in this respect that the theme book was a truer reflection of your learning than the final outcome.  There was evidence of your ability to identify some strong starting points and to use sampling to good effect in order to make decisions about what might work or otherwise. I do hope that now the course has finished, you find time to return to some of your initial ideas and take them further. For example, the pottery shards have great potential. You might like to look at Japanese Boro textiles This might give you some further ideas in terms of piecing cloth together as in your random patchwork sample. 

Stage 3: Developing a Design
There was some good experimentation and sampling here which showed the extent to which you have internalized and applied learning from previous assignments; the tearing and slashing, pleating and folding being a good example of this. I liked the way you attempted to contrast surface textures by your choice of fabrics and I think that you could have taken this further with reference to your photos of fungi against tree bark for example where you had different surface levels as well as textures. I also thought that the distorted fluted curves of the fungi in the photo were something worth taking on board. You made some good links through to costume and fashion with your folding, gathering and pleating samples. Think carefully about your choice of fabric though. The taffeta and chiffon although attractive in terms of surface, are not the easiest of fabrics to manipulate in this way as they tend to be stiff and unyielding. Experimentation with black thread and soluble fabric picked up on the strong linear qualities of your pen and ink drawings. Is this something you might take further in the future? There was a delicate and fragile feel to this sample. 

Stage 4: Making a Textile Piece
Your choice of embellishing to bond your fabrics together worked well, although I also liked your earlier sample where you folded the fabric in layers. In most of your sampling, you showed good understanding and use of colour and there were close comparisons with some of your earlier drawings and imagery. I felt that your final piece could maybe have been developed further and perhaps the choice of a bag limited you somewhat in terms of scale. For example, what might you have considered in terms of further surface manipulation if the piece had been larger and flat, rather than folded into the small bag shape? Could you have begun to distort your layers as in the fungi photos to give a fluted, curved effect? Could you have varied the height of the layers? Could you have combined with the layering and slashing technique that worked so well in your sample? Did you notice how when you moved the stitched lines closer together, the frayed effect of the layers increased proportionately? How might this have enhanced the fraying of the scrim? Another approach might have been to produce three smaller linked pieces where you varied the surface height from almost flat through to raised. You could also have allowed the surface manipulation to extend right to the edges of the piece and become an integral part of the design rather than trimming or stitching. By pushing your exploration of surface to its limit, this would then have been the main focus of the piece, rather than the functional element. A final question is whether you needed to further embellish with sequins? Did you really need them? Can you justify them in terms of your deign source? 

Sketchbooks - Demonstration of Technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity
You have become increasingly confident in the use of drawing as a means of recording your observations and ideas. Please try and maintain this approach as it is certainly strengthening your design work. You have also recognized the value of using your sketchbook for different purposes e.g. to explore design possibilities, to link ideas from other sources etc. 

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical Essays - Context
For me a key area of your development is your willingness to undertake experimentation in the interests of developing your creativity. Your review also indicates that you have gained a great deal of personal insight and self-awareness of the ways in which you work and you have discovered what motivates and excites you. This is the first step to finding a more personal style of working. For the future, try to maintain gallery visits and reviewing artists’ work. This will strengthen the knowledge and understanding of the wider context of your own practice. Your review indicates how much you have enjoyed the course. It has been a pleasure to tutor you Donna. Best wishes for the future

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