This reflection is available at the end of the Assignment post but I am posting it here too to make it easier to locate. For the full assignment click here
Demonstration of subject based knowledge and understanding
I did a lot of research, probably too much, but the work is all so complex I’m not sure how one would go about understanding any of it without spending all that time exploring it. As it is, I feel my grasp is probably less substantive than I would like, but more than above adequate for a level 1 course. I was able to really allow my own interests and knowledge inform an understanding of Mary Kelly’s work in particular, although there is always the worry that I have gone off on a tangent. It’s very difficult to be more than superficial at times – tighter writing skills perhaps.
Demonstration of Research Skills
Good for the level but I am not a naturally ordered person, so I can find myself getting carried away but I do know this is an issue faced by all of the other UVC students I talk to regularly. That shows in the assignment, which is far too long, I should think. I’m sure my scatological nature is evident in the assignment too. There is a problem inherent within the assignment though, and that troubled me, namely that we are asked to annotate 6 images of artists. Firstly, when you’re having to learn about the artists beforehand, that makes that quite a tricky and a lengthy exercise. Then, all of my fellow students, whose work I have looked at, is primarily essay-based and really extensive. In addition much of this work we’re looking at is conceptual so annotating it isn’t always that simple. For now, I have simply written about the ideas relating to those concepts and not drawn lines to things on photographs. I can of course supply such documents by mail in hard copy form, but forgive me for thinking it feels like a bit of waste of time (‘this is a pile of sweets, they represent a guy called Ross who died of AIDs’). You really don’t’ want my handwritten scrawls – they are illegible, so I would need to cut and paste the words that I have typed onto photographs of work that is mainly concept driven. There are other forms I might have used – I favoured supplying a sort of ‘working script’ including drawings, cut outs, quotations, and dialogue between imaginary artists based on the artists I’ve looked at. I veered away from that form as I worried it demonstrated a somewhat catastrophic lack of ‘academic rigour’ at this juncture (although plenty of creativity), which may have been unwelcome – mind you, this incredibly long document also might trigger questions about rigour. However, it felt like a good way of providing annotated diagrams and notes, as well as an interesting way of exploring the ideas contained within the artists’ work. That too, for the sake of legibility, would need to have contained my typed sentences – at which point, is the time it would have taken justifiable? The time I spent absorbing these ideas however does feel incredibly valuable. I’ve learnt a lot. Finally, so much work seems at first to be appropriated from one place such as everyday objects and then once you look more closely is in fact a copy of an earlier artist’s work – so the 50/50 split is slightly erroneous.
Demonstration of Critical Evaluation Skills
Good – I’m not always right but I think a lot and question things. I’ve shown I look at work, absorb ideas, question them, and then try to apply what I’m learning to my own work. I don’t believe everything I read and I am able to situate concepts and ideas within various contexts, relating them to areas outside of the immediate subject I’m looking at. Perhaps I should have written about an artist whose work really doesn’t appeal to me at all – a challenging thing to do well, but I think I have shown that I am able to step back and make assessments about well-known artist’s work when it troubles me in some way through my blog posts. However, I do need boundaries and I do need to know a word count in an assignment – I’ve looked and not found one for A2.
Perhaps one of the main reasons I veered away from my lovely creative idea about handing in a document that looked like a working script is because I want to develop a style of writing that is quite different to the way in which I usually write, but still comes across as authentic and me. I have read in several places recently that people hear my spoken voice when they read my words (and have done since I was very young) and I like that. The tension that arises out of the desire to continue to write that way, and the need for some level of objectivity as well as a more formal approach is probably useful but makes things challenging. I am good at explaining difficult concepts in a way that is understandable, probably because I think that is such an important skill in a world where people are excluded due to no fault of theirs. I want to keep doing that, although I do know that I haven’t always managed it here. In fact the more verbose I am the less sure of myself I might be. The other reason I probably chose not to submit the script idea, apart from the fact it wasn’t what was being asked of us, is that it actually would have made my ideas much harder to express very clearly –especially if it had been hand written! I have in the end written far too much but knowing what to ditch, and feeling able to ditch it is not easy. And learning to cite adequately and write at the same time is quite irritating indeed!
Image (c)SJField 2016