Archive for September 28th, 2014

Understanding Western Art course reflection

It’s a strange moment, looking back at the work I’ve done in the past nineteen months. I feel enormously proud of what I’ve learnt and achieved, but what is most important to me is not in the assessment criteria although it is in other courses – my personal voice. The course gives a lot of scope in exercise requirements, and I’ve found it a wonderful challenge to make choices relevant to a modern Australian textile-loving woman.

March 2013 I wrote my reasons for doing this course:

  • Increase pleasure, knowledge and understanding when going to galleries: A resounding “Yes!” to that, although I’m not necessarily a great companion on a gallery visit – I tend to spend longer with a work than others are comfortable with.
  • Improve my own design skills: To be seen – I haven’t done much creating for a while, given time constraints. However I feel sharper, more observant generally, more responsive and more critical (in an informed way, not a negative way). I’m keen to push myself, to take some risks.
  • Improved understanding of contemporary art, art vs craft, and what I want do do. A start has been made and I’m confident purposeful movement will continue (hopefully indefinitely). Trying to define “art” (especially versus “craft”) now seems like the wrong question. I’m keen to work on the next OCA textile module and to “own” it in the same way I have this one.
  • Getting time for weaving. Sadly that didn’t happen.
  • Time-management has been difficult. There is no natural ending point – there will always be more to learn, a point to research further, another comparison that would add to an analysis. Some exercises were better done than others. I tried at one point to put the main focus on the specific items that had to be sent to my tutor, but found that unsatisfying. I may have been a bit self-indulgent in the extent to which I interpreted requirements and put more emphasis on areas that particularly interested me.

    In his feedback to Assignment 2 my tutor suggested I spend time thinking about what comparisons I might draw between the works studied. I’ve tried to follow that approach and feel that it has added a real richness to my study. I now have the beginnings of a framework of understanding, not just a lot of disparate bits and pieces. Seeing analogies and themes across works of different periods is fascinating.

    The course worked well to introduce and build techniques in annotations and analysis. I believe I can now ask better questions, and I have built some skills and resources to allow me to start answering them. I hope I can apply this to my own work.

    The OCA textiles course only allows for one optional module and I am so very glad I chose this one.

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