Unit 2 – Reflection & Presentation
Critical Evaluation of Practice and Future Development
The most profound discovery about my projects and my investigations over the last 2 years is finding out my work was about me. It was only in the last 4 months that I started to feel emotional and protective about the work that I was doing, in response to critique and questioning; it made me feel very vulnerable. At the same time I was enjoying what I was making more than ever – I felt that although I was able to be more free and authentic about my creative output, I was opening myself up for more criticism and judgement. I developed a sensitivity to being misunderstood. However, I felt my instincts to work against judgements were being validated by drawing autobiographical parallels with other people and wider contexts.
One particular artist I feel has impacted upon me is Marlene Hartmann Rasmussen. Beyond the visual, her work is conceptually about finding strength in her own narrative, and finding personal ways to express herself and her ways of thinking through installation. There are several other artists who work in this way and that have subsequently influenced my practice, yet it wasn’t until engaging with Rasmussen’s work that I found the ability to trust in my own story and feelings.
The journey of my practice over the last 2 years has been difficult to summarise due to the complex and deep reflection that has taken place. The decision to express my work as a curated exhibition of works, alongside a written guide (‘A Reflective Narrative’) not only tracks my reflective practice in the clearest way (to me), but also helped to underpin a visual method of reflecting too. The following list however provides a concise timeline of reflective practice.
Main stages of my work:
- Psychological phenomena of ‘I like it but I don’t know why’ – the unexplainable, irrational response
- Focus on texture to encourage push-pull effect
- Explore forms (and functions) which give push-pull
- Explore relationships between objects which cause uncanny response
- Breakdown of developing habits, to dig deeper into what it is I want to make and why
- Want to make work that I enjoy
- Becoming defensive over criticism of my creative decisions; feeling personally scrutinised and dismissed
- Is how I am feeling something everyone feels? Have I always planned to make work that defies total understanding (enigmatic, tenuous…)?
- Choosing to represent myself
- What my are objects inspired by: visual language, personal feeling, showing myself to the world
- Consolidating the parts of all my work that are recurrent (tropes), or seeing the value in certain creative gestures that were missed the first time around.
Going forward, I feel like I am walking into a vacuum or an empty space. For the first time in my life I have no job or income. I am trying to allow myself maximum availability to be able to take advantage of any opportunities that come along instantly, such as responding to open calls, applying to galleries, etc. But the truth is I don’t feel I have a strong enough sense of networking to be able to capitalise on the opportunities out there. Therefore it is vital for me to get myself involved in creative communities, through group projects and collaborative works. I still have a desire to teach, or be involved in creative education, however I am keen that if I do go into this direction that I am able to be and express myself in a honest and unmasked way – which my work has just started to become.