Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Assignment 4 Tutor Feedback

Tutor report

Overall Comments
Christina this is a well planned and executed assignment.  The results show you to be willing to explore widely and question what you find.   

Assessment potential 
 (after assignments 2 and 4)

I understand your aim is to go for the Textiles Degree and that you plan to submit your work for assessment at the end of this course. From the work you have shown in this assignment, and providing you commit yourself to the course, I suggest that you are likely to be successful in the assessment.

Feedback on assignment 
Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity 
Project 1
Research of the ten artists/designers
Overall you have succeeded in researching the ten required artists.  There are a good number of images from a variety of websites and some publications.  Sadly I found some of your handwriting difficult to read so could not assess all the content.  I have a number of suggestions that would improve this work.  Firstly and importantly I will start with your use of Wikipedia.  It is an important social encyclopedia but is academically unreliable so must never be referenced when searching for evidence based work.  You are welcome to use it as a starting place following the references included on the site but I would keep this to yourself.
My suggestions to improve your research;
  • The book you have used is rather small, hence the imagery you have used is also small and leaves you little room for annotation and written discussion.
  • The list of references you have made (bibliography) is very useful but you should also attach a reference to each image and piece of writing added to your research.  This ensures you can retrace your steps to where you found the information and recognises the author/website/artist etc.
  • You have made some very poignant and intriguing notes, which I feel, could have been expanded.  Your own responses and links made between artists and pieces of work are what make research personal new and exciting.  I have a feeling you have some interesting and valuable ideas that would benefit from being put down on paper.  For example you allude to Vivienne Westwood when looking at Zandra Rhodes.  I would have included Westwood and maybe explored why Westwood wasn’t there when possibly she has been more influential.  
  • The work would have benefitted from a brief introduction to each artist.  This could include the era they live/lived in, their cultural background, political influences.  And for me I always want to know if a female artist was married and had children, and what sort of support she had/has.    

Critical Essay
On the whole your essay reads well with a strong direction and conviction.  You have included a varied and appropriate amount of referenced research, which is woven into the writing smoothly.  Some parts are well written with a balance of your own opinion and analysis.  Well done.  I do have some suggestions that I feel could improve this piece of writing. 
  • The referencing system you have used though perfectly functional is not the Harvard Referencing System, which is the oca’s preferred system.  Universities can be very fussy about these matters so I would suggest you use it.  Here is a link to the oca Harvard Referencing booklet
  • Again, never use Wikipedia.  
  • I would suggest you write a stronger introduction.  Start by outlining who Judy Chicago is and her background.  Then introduce the areas you are going to cover in this piece of writing.  In this case Chicago’s artistic values, her aesthetic, context, (political and artistic) collaborations, biography (I would discuss these separately) and legacy.  Then finally in the introduction briefly explain to the reader what your conclusions are going to be.  It is good practice to be really explicit about what you are going to cover in a piece of writing. 
  • I wouldn’t put the imagery behind the text, this can make it uncomfortable to read and you don’t want the assessor to find it difficult.  
  • The section on artist collaborations and biography jumps about but I think if you split the two topics you would be able to write about them more clearly.
  • You don’t need the sentence toward the end “which begs the question ………” This is a whole other essay if not a thesis!
  • The conclusion could be fuller, by this I mean you can revisit the topics you have written about, adding any links you have made and your own opinion. 
  • Finally and more of a sides issue I would question is why Chicago used all female teams to do the embroidery?  To my mind this compounds the idea that this is woman’s work.
To conclude on the essay my impression is that you chose an interesting artist that I judge as relevant to you and your own work.  This is a great place to start but you have also been open minded about the information you found, balancing the criticisms and accolades.

Analysing two pieces of work
Birth Tear by Judy Chicago and Abakan Red by Magdalena Abakanowicz
Both these pieces of analysis are well researched and constructed.  You have made a good attempt at answering the course material questions and have expanded the information where necessary.  There are a number of things I would suggest you could have included in your analysis.  In Birth Tear is Chicago not attempting to share or describe the feeling of childbirth.  The representation of the tear displays it how it feels; it feels like you are being ripped in half, though thankfully this doesn’t happen.  You have described the rhythms expressed in the woman’s hair well.  I would suggest you could go on to say that childbirth is an all-consuming event that feels as if every hair and cell is involved in the process.  I would therefore suggest that the function of this piece of artwork is to express the feeling of childbirth.  I would also question if this woman were having a good or bad experience.  Can all that pain and hardship be positive?
When exploring Abakanowicz’s work Abakan Red I wonder what sort of impact living in Nazi occupied Poland made on Abakanowicz’s work.  Her father was a sculptor but she would have been cut off from the vibrant art that was happening in America.  It could be suggested that her use of salvaged materials came from an understanding of the value of materials that she grew up with during a time of shortage.  As a female artist there is something very poignant in the idea of her rolling up her work to store under the bed.  This combination of the domestic and artistic cannot fail to influence the way women create.  
The only other thing I would suggest is that you work in A4 ensuring that you don’t need to fold the images and that the reader can refer to the writing and the images at the same time.

Project 2
Research of six of your chosen artists/designers.
Apart from William Morris you have chosen an interesting group of artists to research.  I can see why these artists are attractive for you and could possibly influence your work.  My suggestions for improvement are as above.

Analysis of three chosen artworks
These three pieces of writing are overall well written and researched.  Interestingly the Woven wall hanging by Ismini Samanidou that you have seen in person is your strongest and most in depth piece of writing.  As I said before these pieces of work would benefit being seen in an A4 format.

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity 
You have submitted a fine little sketchbook with a number of pencil drawings, reference material and some interesting research.  Well done for keeping up with your drawing during this assignment.  There is evidence that the research you have done for the written work has begun to influence your ideas about design and creativity.  This is excellent.

Learning Logs or Blogs 
Christina your blog (learning log) shows you to be self aware and analytical.  You are adding material to it regularly; it includes imagery and written work.   There is a good quantity of research with reflection and your own understandings.  

Well done Christina, I look forward to assignment 5.

Tutor name
Rebecca Fairley
20th August 2014
Next assignment due
27th October 2014

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