Yesterday I had a skype tutorial with my tutor and received afterwards the formative assignment report back. I really liked the kind of tutorial in a dialogue and reflection on my current status, interest, and possible way forward.
One aspect that I am aware of and came up again was how I as a prolific student can stay more focused. My tutor gave me the feedback that I have ‘outgrown the more traditional and step-by-step approaches of level 1 courses‘. We discussed my way forward and my tutor encouraged me to get further advice on degree pathways. From what she saw she believes that I should keep painting as a core aspect and to consider the Fine Art pathway that may broaden up my range with time-based and performative elements.
My parallel project of daily self portraits, sustained over 9 weeks, was well recognised and my tutor was quite satisfied with that. It seems that I am ahead of level 1 and moving with my approaches already rather at level 2,3. Especially my different perspective e g. fragmentary approach in week 9 was considered to be a ‘breakthrough‘.
My tutor provided me with new perspectives and insight on self-portrait and how one can present / represent oneself: role of senses, role of objects as extension of self, role of others in our perception (inter-subjectivity), ambiguities (drama of chiaroscuro – ‘self portrait #36’), doubling of self (‘self portrait #37’), and partial narratives ( self portrait #58-61)
One main obstacle for me is to make a believable and appealing one single major painting on larger scale, especially considering composition and multiple layers of meaning. My tutor suggested to keep serial narratives and multifaceted approach for the time being. Llong term to come back to one single painting that integrates in a synthesis multiple aspects (reference: Francis Bacon). There may be other and further territories including a variety of contemporary areas (photography, video, installation etc:)
I am quite pleased with the feedback received on my sketchbooks that do show my confidence in handling of paint in a fresh and very fluid way. This is a coherent topic recognised also in Drawing 1 course unit. Putting those fresh and fluid approaches into reality with larger works still is a challenge for me.
My tutor found my contextual research quite appropriate, with at times quite detailed artist research. She got the feeling that easel painting could be an insufficient format for me.
As part of project 3 ‘Telling a story‘ the discussion went along the sensitive topics of gender, feminism, vulnerable male body and possible contemporary responses. I researched John Coplan in this context and his position seems to be an exceptional position in the art world.
Overall my tutor suggested that the skills acquired in the academic course ‘Understanding Visual Culture‘ would actually be quite beneficial for me to stay more focused within my contextual researches and to position myself better in a contemporary context.
Project work feedback:
Background: In the context of my two paintings in project 2 ‘Head and Shoulder‘ the issue of composition, possible cropping the painting and the role of the background in a contemporary context (e.g. Francis Bacon) with at times rather fictional invented or collaged background.
Portrait: Project 2 ‘Conveying character’ (Columbo) addressed the questions related to the self and how our self-perception is shaped also by others (inter-subjective). By that our selection of others and fictional characters, friends is also a representation of us. Artists in this context: Francis Bacon, Maria Lassnig, Derain, Matisse.
Human injustices: As I was already aware of the complex and complicate nature of my project 3 ‘Telling a Story‘ work that triggered the discussion around feminist readings and post-colonial responses. A reference to Berger ‘Way of Seeing‘ whom I researched as part of Drawing 1.
My tutor encouraged me to look at non-standard approaches in presentation for assignment and later for assessment: portfolio, photo and video documentation, and performative elements that could play a substantial aspect in my work.
My conclusions & next steps:
- I prefer a looser gestural style of painting versus a rather flat handling.
- Reviewing my partial narratives from week 9 to present the most successful in a meaningful way (latest for assessment)
- Project 2 ‘Head and Shoulder‘ painting: considering cropping and role of background
- Inter-subjectivity and contemporary approach of re-/presenting the self. Following a different approach to self portraits considering others.
- Consider non standard approaches in documentation and presentation of course work (incl. other fine arts categories e.g. photography, video etc. )
- Consider key questions related to serial, sequential and multi-format presentations of my work
- Consider UVC (Understanding Visual Culture) course as an supporting academic skill to contextualise more effectively and to positions myself better in a contemporary context.
- Discuss with student advisor options for pathway and direction.
- More time needed to reflect on how to become less self-conscious in my painting approach especially related to assignment pieces.