Looking back through my second year of university I have definitely enjoyed this year much more than the first, this is because I have a better understanding of the structure of university and I am starting to realise what we are expected to produce. Constellation has helped a lot in this process as it is started to make me think critically about work when I start to bring it back to my practice. I often struggle to understand and depict pieces of work, during constellation we were given a structure of columns where we had to describe, analyse and back up our findings with theory, this has helped me to start question others work which has furthered my interest greatly in art and design, it’s also made me think of how I could experiment with my work, how different material culture would change people’s perspective of my work and how different audiences can affect the context of work I produce. The most interesting topic we have come across in class for me is gender representation in society, I didn’t realise how much it’s been fixed in our lives and how difficult it is to start breaking these misconceptions, during class we looked at work from a range of artists and designers such as Bacon and McQueen and they have both touched on this subject, because I like to specialise in creating functional objects primarily furniture, it would be interesting to see if I could intertwine these subjects with my work. I could start experimenting with different ranges of materials to see how others would look at my work differently, I primarily work with wood but it would be interesting to see how people would perceive my work if I started using delicate and fragile material such as porcelain, or a soft and comforting material such as fur.
Being able to work with other student from different disciplines has also helped me think how others would perceive my work, during Field work I have been working a lot with product designers and through my constellation I have worked with fine artists, it has been interesting to see how they both perceive my work differently and what they would look out for in a piece of work. My constellation this year has strongly influenced my Field work, I really enjoyed looking into Francis Bacons work and how he played with the boundaries of form, his use of materials and how they guide these concepts, I really enjoy experimenting with the boundaries of materials and finding new methods of making to adapt to these concepts. I’m currently working on a sustainable timber based project where we have to make a wall mounted piece to a professional standard, because of the restriction to size my only thought was to create a shelf which at the time was quite demotivating, as shelves are quite simple and quick to make. While looking at Bacons work I thought how can I use some of his concepts in regards to form to help me with this project, timber is a hard wood and is quite difficult to adapt, most timber pieces we see are flat and bulky but I wanted to change this perception. After researching I came across a new method of making which was steam bending, this allows the wood to be bent and twisted in unusual ways which changes the perspective of the piece, this instantly pushes the boundaries which makes people questions the materiality. This will bring my work different audiences from other disciplines as it’s an unusual piece of work, it will also catch people attention and make them want to question the functionality of the piece as it doesn’t look like a typical shelf.
My progress has definitely developed through the year and hopefully improved compared to last year, there are a number of new approaches I have used this year which have proven successful, there are others which I’m still eager to develop. Because I’m dyslexic I struggle a lot academically, I received a lot of support at the start of the year which has proven very helpful especially during constellation. I struggle mostly with academic writing and being able to source relevant theories, I also struggle with reading books and describing my findings. The most helpful tool I’ve used this year is a software on my laptop which allows me to record my lessons, this relieves a lot of pressure for me to remember a lot of academic information, which allows me to focus and enjoy the lessons instead which in turn makes me remember the classes better. I write quite slow so in the past I’ve struggled with writing information quickly and clearly enough for me to look back and have necessary notes, they have usually ended up muddled and unclear and I would have no recollection of what the tutor would have talked about, now in this software I can easily listen back to my classes and see my typed notes clearly and organised. To help with my general grammar and sentence structuring I attended a study skills session, this was only a quick session but it did help a lot with teaching myself new ways of proof reading my work, I found it very helpful to have the computer read back my work so I could listen to mistakes and fix punctuation in my work, I will definitely use this method every time I create a piece of work. I still need to improve on my academic writing to the level the university expects, I think this comes with practice by creating essays for constellation. I also find it quite difficult to describe what I’m searching, this is proving very difficult when finding books in the library as I struggle with finding relevant key words, Martha’s keynote on the library did help with this problem but I still find it hard to find the relevant words especially academically styled. Another problem I often struggle with is reading and picking out relevant theories, analysing work in class has helped with this but I still struggle with the reading, I often become tired quite quickly when I read and lose focus quite easy, I’ve seen in the past that listening to audio books have helped, this might be a solution I could look into.