Collection: PART THREE

REFLECTION: PART 3

UPDATED PROJECT EVALUATION

24th April 2017

Now that my Final Major Project has come to an end I am able to reflect on the successful and failed aspects that have occurred throughout the duration of it. In reference to my initial project concept and description I believe my final outcome has fulfilled my overall ambition of being a ‘well-informed’ ‘education tool’ on 21st century feminism and the concept of Gender Fluidity.

Overall, I feel the main change in direction that transpired when I stopped focusing just on “feminism” and explored concepts of gender as a whole was fundamental to the success of my final outcome, as prior to this adjustment of focus my research was verging on generic. However, I am glad I still explored the feminist stereotypes as it enabled me to understand the movement in it’s fullest, helping me decide how I could make my work different to what has been done already. Focusing on both “masculinity” and “femininity” reinforced the overall message I aimed to convey through my publication as the work is now relatable to both sexes, removing any form of gender biased as the information came from both the perspectives of men and women in the art industry. Overall, I feel my final photographic series is well reflective of my altered focus on sexual-stereotyping and gender fluidity.

   Additionally, the development of my textiles mono-print series derived from my research questionnaire, was also essential to the favourable result of my publication as it added a much-needed tactile, interactive quality, which was also a good source of primary, practical experimentation, something that was lacking at the beginning of my project. Creating these textiles samples has enriched my understanding of the processes mono-printing and hand embroidery, as well as improving my printing skills and needlework.  

   Throughout the duration of this project I have found working alongside other creative minds compelling as it is interesting to see how others use “art” as a vehicle for personal protest, in order to communicate their political views to the onlooker. From this experience I now know collaboration is something I will defiantly consider doing in the future.

   Using Workflow as a reflective tool throughout the duration for my Final Major Project has been fundamental in ensuring that arising problems are solved and that all my analytical thoughts are recorded and available to look back on. This has helped me avoid making repeated errors as well as keeping my concepts moving forward.

   Furthermore, Regular tutorials over the past 9 weeks, with peers and tutors have played an essential part in ensuring my outcome was successful. Obtaining opinions from a variety of people that are not all accustomed to my style and the way in which I work enabled me to identify the areas that needed editing in order to communicate my concepts efficiently.

    In summary, researching such a consequential issue, which I already feel strongly about, in such depth has been inspiring. Now my own knowledge of the importance and true meaning of feminism in today’s society has been enriched. Overall, I hope my publication has the same enlightening effect on the reader.

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UPDATED PROJECT ACTION PLAN AND TIMETABLE

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Week

Date Week

beginning

Activity / What you are intending to do - including independent study

Resources / What you will need to do it - including access to workshops

 

Week 23

 

 

Feb

20th

Independent Research Week:

-Begin collaging research images in sketchbook.

-Add secondary research to workflow.

-Work on draft proposal.

Visit the library gathering relevant research from books/archive/internet.

 

Week 24

 

 

Feb

27th

 

-Draft proposal hand in.

-Exhibiton: Maria Lassnig - Hauser & Wirth (1/03)

-Exhibition: Jaki Irvine - Frith Street Gallery (3 /03)

- Keep working on sketchbook research.

- Camera to record things seen at exhibitions.

- Notebook and sketchbook to make notes-recordings.

 

Week 25

 

 

March 6th

- Plan questionnaire to gather research.

- Contact/Interview peers to collaborate with.

- Start planning photoshoot concepts (testshoot)

- Finalise project proposal.

- Laptop

- Social media sites

- Disposable camera

- Model/flowers for shoot

 

Week 26

 

March 13th

Progress Tutorials

- Interview feature artists/ gather work to publish

- Write up interview quotes.

- Begin experimenting with layouts.

- Camera

Recording devise and notebook when interviewing artists.

 

Week 27

 

 

March 20th

- Week in Archway print studios developing newly established textiles mono-print series.

- Experiment with embroidery (research)

- Thursday: 1 granary crit

- Printing ink

- Fabric to print on

- Enlarged responses

- Embroidery thread/loop

 

Easter Break

Week

1

 

March 27th

- Respond to feedback from crit

- Organise shoot with flowers + jewellery

- Begin planning for final photo-shoot

- Work more on layout ideas for publication; get pages done of feature artists.

Workshops closed

- Camera

- Elements for shoot

- In-Design Software

 

 

Easter Break

Week

2

 

April

3rd

- Finalise pages on feature artists.

- Finalise textiles series (scan fabric samples and add them to document)

- Get work in sketchbook up to date (regarding textiles series and photo-shoot preparation)

Workshops closed

- In-Design software

- Scanner

- Sketchbook

 

Week 28

 

 

April

10th

- Organise final photo-shoot

- Edit and add images to final publication

- Experiment with cover design

- If content PRINT or do test print

- Camera/ Photography

- Garments/Model and location for final shoot

- Print shop.

 

Week 29

 

 

April

17th

- Make final alterations (if needed)

- PRINT !!

- Label items for exhibition hand in

- Hand in on the 20th

- Print shop.

- White box & clear folder to put work in for hand in.

- White Labels

 

Week 30

 

 

April

24th

- Finalise workflow and sketchbook work

- Setting up the Exhibition on Mon 24th and Tue 25th

- DEADLINE for Unit 7 Assessment submission is Tuesday 25th April, 4.00pm

- Sketchbook

- PUBLIC Workflow

 

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20TH APRIL 2017

EXHIBITION HAND IN

My publication is all handed in. Yay! I feel so relieved now it out of the way and to a standard I am proud of. Along side my zine I also handed in a selection of my textiles mono-print samples and 2 enlarged images from my final photo-shoots, I'm looking forward to seeing how the tutors curate the final exhibition on the 10th of May. I'm now left with an ideal amount of time to finalize the work in my sketchbook and on my workflow research and reflection pages so they are to an equal standard as my final piece.

 

19TH APRIL 2017

PRINTING MY PUBLICATION

Because I left the printing of my publication slightly until the last minute, I had to get it printed today. However, I contacted the photo shop and they said it would be fine to have it all done an printed by the end of the day (again I have learnt that leaving things until the last minute is very unnecessarily stressful!) So this morning I completed all the editing I needed to do and the sent my document across to be printed professionally. When I went to collect it later that day the relief I felt was astonishing, wow, all my hard work put into produce my final outcome is complete! I was also really happy with the quality of the images in the document and the feel of the paper. Yay! I spent the rest of the day completing all the admin for the exhibition hand in tomorrow morning.

PUBLICATION COVER PAGE

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18TH APRIL 2017

PHOTOSHOOT PLAN

  • Model: Lucas
  • Styling:  Pink fur coat / Pink tweed blazer / Pink suede jacket / Pink satin bomber jacket / Sparkly Navy 2 Piece tweed suit / Black trousers / Black shoes (other simplistic under-layers)
  • Accessories: Pearl choker / Diamante dangling earring / Baby pink framed sunglasses.
  • Make-up: Light foundation coverage / Cheek bone defining blusher and highlighter / Combed eyebrows / Moist lips / Light Blusher (possibly)
  • Hair: Dyed darker and combed backwards (sleek)

I decided to do the shoot outside CSM next to the brick walls where the lighting was best (bright but not fully facing the model). The makeup looks I experimenting with work really well at conveying my message as it was subtle but successful at defining the cheekbones and jaw line. Also the styling I used worked amazingly as the model looked powerful and masculine despite wearing makeup and lots of pink fluffy clothes (aspects that are typically female).

Once I uploaded the images to the computer I edited them on Photoshop to get rid of the brown, mucky brick background in order to enhance the bright pink hues of the garments. Selecting the background a lowering the saturation and brightness I was able to create the effect I desired.

Over-all I am really pleased with how the shoot turned out and how it all came together in the end despite the stress organizing it. I have learnt from this experience that I needed to be more organized with sorting out my photo-shoot over the Easter holidays instead of predominantly focusing just on my publication. However, now both the shoot and the publication are pretty much finished all I have to do is combine them and get then printed.

IMAGE FROM MY FINAL SHOOT

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13TH APRIL 2017

NOTES FROM LECTURE ON ANNOTATIONS

  • Make sure ALL images on workflow are credited with artists names, dates and where I got the images from. 
  • In sketchbook ensure all artists are also referenced (written next to the picture in small handwriting).
  • Also add brief annotations about the significant artists I have selected in my book stating why I have chosen them and how I hope to responded to them. (do not write things that are self-explanatory)
  • Add reflective annotation when the direction of your project changes to it's clear to the examiner what is happening in the sketchbook as well as on workflow.

I found the lecture today based on annotations in the sketchbook and on workflow really helpful as it enlightened me on the extra bits I need to add to the work I have already done to make it clear when it is marked by external examiners and my tutors. Also I found looking at other people's workflows equally as helpful as I could see how others approach researching and reflecting, aesthetically this is something I have struggled with as I'm not particularly good with technology, so it was inspiring to see new methods of laying things out, and to hear people ways of adding embedded media and other interactive features. When I got home this evening, I edited the number of columns and the theme of my workflow and I feel a lot more confident with how it looks now, later I hope to add some of the films I have watched as research now I know how to do it.

11TH APRIL 2017

LOCATION

I spent today researching and planning for my photo-shoot which will be carried out next week. After contacting the recommended studio spaces by my tutors and finding out I could not access any of them I began looking into outdoor locations that would work well for my shoot, this really challenged me because it was an unexpected dilemma that had to be solved as quickly as possible. Also I was relying on the weather for my shoot to be successful, a large risk. I looked into finding a pink backdrop (such as a house or wall etc)  but changed my mind because most of the garments in my shoot are made from pink fabric, thus a black, white or grey backdrop would be more complimentary. In the end I decided I could shoot in-front of any background and edit it to how I desired using Photoshop, this approach would allow me to have full control over the images regardless of environmental factors.

10TH APRIL 2017

RETURN AFTER EASTER HOLIDAYS

I was glad to return to uni today and get some feedback from my peers and tutor about the work i've been doing of the Easter break. As personally I am happy with the way my publication is working but i'm unaware of what other people think of it, in terms of layout, colour scheme and overall aesthetic.

After a lecture in the morning outlining all the information we needed for the next few weeks regarding hand in dates and sheets to fill out etc (which I found really helpful as I didn't know about most of the info that was discussed) In the afternoon I had signed up for a one-on-one tutorial with Petra which was brief, but still useful. We discussed the work in my sketchbook and what I need to add to it (more development of my photo-shoot ideas). As well as looking over my publications so she could see what my layout plans were (for feature artists and my textiles series), I was happy to know she liked how it looked (which was a relief). I then discussed the intentions for my shoot as Petra suggested possible ways in which I could shoot, which I now need to research more about over the next few days. Below are the typed up handwritten notes from the tutorial.

Tutorial Notes: (Studio Spaces)

  • CSM Kings Cross 3rd floor BA studio space
  • Archway dark rooms
  • Trackside Studios in Hackney
  • Studio 19
  • photo-studiohire.com
  • If not consider outdoor locations (pink/black/white backdrop)

6TH & 7TH APRIL 2017

Over the last 2 days I have focused mainly on gathering information from my feature artists, Alisa Chaplin and Christine Ha. I organized an interview over Facebook messenger with Alisa which I will screen shot and add into my publication, the messenger format really appeals to me and I think with show diversity in my final outcome. I also had a brief Skype call with Christine where I outlined my intentions and informed her on her role in the publication. Both women seemed just right for my magazine and their responses to my questions were really honest and informative.  I'm feeling excited to start writing about their amazing work. 

Ailsa Chaplin

  • 20-years-old
  • Fashion Communication Student @ Brighton
  • Explores the concept of femininity in her photography.

Christine Ha

  • 32-years-old
  • Studying @ Central Saint Martins
  • Previously in worked in Medicine
  • American Citizen
  • Addresses female issue, focusing on current affairs.

5TH APRIL 2017

DAY IN THE LIBRARY

I spent all of today in the CSM library working on the things I had planned to do yesterday (in the list below), It was a highly successful and productive day (I got everything done) because now the textiles series Is all formatted to be easily added into my publication. This means I can now fully move on to focusing on my final photo shoot. I am really happy with the way the scanned samples look as I used Photoshop to enhance them so the bold text really stands out.

  • Scan: Monoprints x 2, embriodery x 1 and Ruby's written piece.
  • Research: Books relating to historical and traditional views on gender.
  • Pulication: Experiment with InDesign.

Recently I have started note taking and writing to do lists in my note book, this has been really helpful for to me get important jobs done and keep on track of what I need to do daily, I also been documenting this on my action plan. I will defiantly continue to do this as my projects moves forward.

3RD APRIL 2017

TO DO LIST: (handwritten)

  • Sketchbook: Add more written analysis of artists (on tracing paper), Finish page on Masculinity, Add page displaying unsuccessful textiles sample experiences.
  • Photoshoots: 2 x Floral shoots, 2 x Male model test shoots, print and add to sketchbook.
  • Publication: Start laying things out, explore fonts, colour schemes and page layouts (keep baking file up onto memory stick) 

So far I have found working at home over the Easter break very productive as i've got lots of sketchbook and workflow work done that I'd let slide slightly while focusing on my textiles series. Today specifically I have added written elements and annotations about the artists in to my sketchbook by printing text out onto tracing paper, I am pleased with how this looks as previously I had considered hand writing in my sketchbook (Which I feel would take away from my collages). So now my annotating looks neat and tidy and compliments the work in my book.

29TH & 30TH MARCH 2017

The past 2 days have been spent adding work into my sketchbook, particularly focusing on presenting more of my developed textiles work. Creating collages using scanned and enlarged questionnaire responses, scanned and edited textiles samples and secondary imagery. This has helped me work out how my imagery will work together when formatted in my publication. It also helped me visualize the direction in which my project is moving as well as experimenting more with my chosen colour pallet. Also now this aspect of my project has been documented I can move forward and focus more heavily on preparation for my final photo-shoot and gathering more information from my feature artists in order to put my final publication all together.

EXAMPLE OF SKETCHBOOK PAGE

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27TH MARCH 2017

MALE FEATURE ARTISTS

Charlie Prothero:

  • 21 years-old
  • Homosexual
  • Art Student @ City College Norwich
  • Explores the theme of gender
  • Interview via email

Sam Sockett:

  • 19 years-old
  • hetrosexual
  • Art Student @ Camberwell College of Art
  • Explores "Lad Culture"
  • Interview via Skype

Today I contacted the two Male artists that will be featured in my publication, I chose Charlie and Sam as I had seen both of their work over social media and I believe their points of views will add the varied opinion I need for my publication to be well-informed. Although both men are art students they explore very different areas related to the issue of masculinity. Charlie's work relates to the connection between masculinity and homosexuality, Whereas, Sam focused on "Lad Culture", something he feels subjected to. After speaking to the boys and hearing their responses to my edited interview question, I am really glad I've decided to get them involved in the publication as their honest views on the issues of gender are really powerful. I also feel relieved now these interviews are out of the way because I can start putting together their feature pages and move forward with my publication.

EDITED INTERVIEW QUESTIONS: (Focusing on Male issues)

  1. Briefly, what’s your background as an artist?
  1. What made you gravitate towards art?
  1. How does the concept gender play into your work?
  1. What overall message are you trying to convey?
  1. Do you think the traditional model for masculinity is working?
  1. Do you think we need to change the way we raise men?
  1. What do you think is defining “masculinity” today?
  1. Briefly, how do you feel masculinity should be redefined?
  1. Would you ever consider addressing female issues in your work?
  1. What do you think is defining feminism today?

24TH MARCH 2017

PHOTO-SHOOT

In response to the feedback received from my group crit yesterday I organized a photo shoot today to inject more primary research into my project. I had been drafting concepts for this shoot for a while but I hadn't got round to doing it until today. Referring to photographic work by artist Maisie Cousins I produced a series of images drawing from popular feminine stereotypes including flowers and diamante jewelry. I am really happy with the result of this shoot as the images work with my research aesthetically and also link well conceptually.

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EXAMPLES FROM SHOOT

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23RD MARCH 2017

1 GRANARY CRITIQUE

Prior to the whole group crit with 1 GRANARY I spent the morning catching up on sketchbook work adding more of my most recent research imagery that related mono-printing and hand embroidery, so that my sketchbook communicated my project intentions more clearly when viewed without me having to talk through it. For the crit I presented my textiles mono-print series along side my sketchbook. Presenting our work in this exhibition-like way on a regular basis has been a helpful tool throughout the year on foundation because it is a good way of gaining mixed feedback from peers and also it encourages me to make my work look presentable throughout the unit, rather than just for assessment.

After the walk around we got into groups and analyzed each other's work following an assessment criteria sheet, used by examiners to mark out work in our final assessment (as seen in photo below). This was a really helpful form of feedback as I was able to receive opinion that was directly in correspondence to what we are assessed on. On the assessment sheet I mostly received PASS and MERIT grades luckily I did not get any referrals, however, areas in which only PASSED I now know I need to prioritize over the Easter break so my overall grade is not bought down by the weaker areas of my project. These weaker areas are predominantly related to my lack of primary research, this will be my main focus over the holiday.

ASSESSMENT CRITERIA FEEDBACK SHEET

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Below are the typed notes taken when in convocation with my peers during today's tutorial.

Peer Feedback:

  • Make sure intentions are more clearly presented in work.
  • Think of another unique concept that relates to me personally regarding what it is to be woman. 
  • Document mono-print and embroidery development in sketchbook.
  • Make sure you document unsuccessful textiles samples to show development.
  • Experiment more with primary images (test shoots).
  • Play with more subtle feminine stereotypes on the male body (in shoots).
  • Ensure all thoughts are documented on Workflow.
  • Try and include more drawings on top of existing collages.
  • Keep pushing research on gender for photo-shoot.
  • Include more written work in sketchbook (fashion journalism).
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21ST MARCH 2017

ARCHWAY: Mono-printing (day 2)

My second day at the Archway campus was equally as successful! In the morning I produced more useful mono-prints which I am happy to use as scans in my publication. I later decided to work into them using hand embroidery, a historically "female" process, which I have used in previous projects and have done a lot of research on over my creative "life-time" in relation to feminist ideas. I found this technique worked really well on top of my failed attempts (in which the text didn't come our clearly enough), I chose to stitch over key words in order to define them.

Overall, my experimentation with mono-printing has been a great success. I will defiantly use these samples I have produced within my publication as they will add a well needed tactile and pratical element to display some of the other techniques I have learned through the course of foundation.  It also involves text which is something I have research a lot about when discussing political messages in art and fashion.

20TH MARCH 2017

ARCHWAY: Mono-printing (day 1)

I began experimentation with mono-printing today in the print workshop up at Archway, somewhere I had avoided for a while after not doing practical work for a very long time. To my surprise working in a pratical way was so much fun! In preparation for today I enlarged some of my favorite answers (to uses a stencils), selected specifically varied materials and bought some colored printing ink.

I am really pleased with the result of this experimental process because I chose to trace the handwritten responses from the questionnaire so the emotion in the writing was captured. Also the fabrics (denim, pink silk and jersey) I decided to use complimented the bright red and black ink I used. However, today I only produced a few samples some of which were successful and others which failed. Tomorrow I hope to develop more samples and push the triumphant elements further.

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17TH MARCH 2017

When re-listening to and taking notes from the voice recording I did yesterday with artist Ruby Streek, I was re-assured why the issues raised in this project are so fundamental and why I feel so strong about the fact that people need to be educated more thoroughly about the concept of gender. Ruby's word provided a well-informed insightful opinion of what it's like being a 21st century female. Overall, so far including exterior artists in my publication has given me the influential opinion I need to create a well informed educational tool.

The rest of today was spent drafting layout ideas for my publication gathering images of Ruby's work that she kindly offered and formatting the notes from out chat. I feel so relieved that the interview is finally done because as I can start putting my final piece together.

16TH MARCH 2017

INTERVIEW WITH ARTIST RUBY BLOSSOM STREEK. 

Today I interviewed on of my feature artists Ruby Streek. I got the bus to lively Camberwell, where we met in her local pub. I prepared some questions to ask her but we just sat over a Earl Grey and chatted it out. Her views on feminism were compelling and the work she showed me would fit perfectly in my publication. I was familiar with her work via Instagram, but seeing her in the flesh assured me she was the ideal candidate for my publication. I chose to record our convocation over voice memo (to be used as a interactive element of my assessment) which I will re-listen and take notes from tomorrow. Before our meeting I asked her to prepare a handwritten piece which I will draw from with mono-prints or potentially use as a page in my article. Our chat was flowing and natural and i'm really satisfied with how it went as I believe it will be a useful honest source of opinion on feminism today.

HANDWRITTEN STATEMENT BY ARTIST RUBY STREEK

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14TH MARCH 2017

After my productive and informative progress tutorial yesterday I spent today enriching my research with the artists Jo recommend and other artists work that explore the concept of gender and the struggle men and women are faced with because of sexual-stereotyping. I found the artists that explore the concept in a more subtle natural way most inspiring. I aim to peruse my final shoot in a similar way, avoiding being overly androgynous. Researching this in more detail has been useful as its clarified how I intend for my work to look.

I also researched the process of mono-printing, analysing it technically and acknowledging other artists that work using it, so that I fully understand it before I start producing samples. I responded to the work of Tracey Emin previously but I feel her mono-print series is perfectly related to the next stage of my project. Next week I will develop these samples over at Archway in the studios. In preparation for this I will consider the colors and materials to use based on typical associations, such as:

  • Feminine: silk, satin, lace, organza (delicate and loose fabrics) Pink and red. 
  • Masculine: Denim, canvas (durable, robust fabrics) Blue and green.

13TH MARCH 2017

PROGRESS TUTORIAL

As usual my progress tutorial with Jo was really helpful and constructive. She gave me some really interesting and inspiring artist to look at to lead my project in a less obvious, more individual way, as we both felt some of my imagery was abit generic, however, I'm glad I included this type of imagery in my sketchbook and on my workflow as it was important to explore the common feminist stereotypes before moving my project on in an unique way. She told me names of lost of artists she's familiar with to carry forward my focus on "genderless" art that I feel capture the naturalistic aesthetic I want to inherit in my final photo-shoot.

Overall, the tutorial has helped me feel more confident and certain on the way I hope to move things forward. And it has also got me considering an additional series of mono-prints to include in my publication, which will add a (needed) practical element to my publication. The mono-prints will be derived from the controversial and humorous answers I got from the research questionnaire I handed out. I wasn't expecting to use the responses physically however, I was so effected by the answer I am making then into art (and part of my publication). This will also ensure studio time feels more productive and I will be developing my practical skills.

Typed notes from interview: (areas to research)

  • Visit Terrains of the body @ White Chapel Gallery.
  • Research Ren Hang (gender-less documentary photography)
  • Research Ryan McGinley (Ren Hang's inspiration)
  • Research Jennifer Pattison (the female nude
  • Record interviews in different ways (Interactive presentation) : voice recording, hand written letter, skype, email correspondence, messenger app.
  • Consider introducing textiles element.
  • Monoprint - Inspired by Tracey Emin using answers from questionnaire's. (enlarged)
  • To bring for Monday: Enlarged photocopies, Materials to print on (silk, denim), Acrylic printing ink.

9TH MARCH 2017

I spent today in the the library continuing with sketchbook work (which i'd let slide slightly since working on my textiles samples) in order to track the development of my thinking. This really helped my visualize the direction in which my project is moving and has restored some confidence in me now i'm getting more up to date with my work I have been slacking on. Now that my textiles series if recorded in my book I can move forward onto constructing my publication and writing about my feature artists.

I also spent today drafting interview questions to ask my feature artists for their features in my publication. I made sure that the questions were varied, giving them to opportunity to talk about their own feelings regarding feminism today and masculinity as well as allowing them to talk about their own work and the message they aim to convey. This will ensure the information provided is well-rounded and compelling to the reader. Once I have gathered the responses I will edit and add them into my publication.

I feel today has been productive in terms of preparation for the next stage of my project, I now feel better about what needs to be done to get my publication to the standard I want it to be.

Interview Questions:

  1. Briefly, what’s your background as an artist?
  1. What made you gravitate towards art?
  1. What is the significance of nudity in your work?
  1. How do you feel about the misconceptions of feminism today?
  1. How do you feel about feminism art becoming a “trend”?
  1. What do you think is defining feminism today?
  1. Briefly, how do you feel feminism should be redefined?
  1. What overall message are you trying to convey?
  1. What are some of the things that have frustrated you being a female in the creative industry?
  1. How does the concept gender play into your work?
  1. Do you think the traditional model for masculinity is working?
  1. Do you think we need to change the way we raise men?
  1. What do you think is defining “masculinity” today?
  1. Briefly, how do you feel masculinity should be redefined?

8TH MARCH 2017

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY!

Which means today was spent celebrating the the fact I am WOMAN! Conveniently, today was helpful in terms of research for my project as female liberation and solidarity is my focus. All across the world (and social media) women protested for their rights to be equal, wearing RED and not attending work. Although I didn't work highly creatively today, even by just looking on my phone at social media sites I was faced with inspiring images from all across the world of women celebrating their gender. I also came across many images posted by men supporting and commending femininity. It compelled me to look into the issues faced by men in relation to expressing their feminine side. Something that is an issue rarely discussed on a similar level to the oppression of women.  I feel this is a possible new direction for my project to go down as it's something i am personally interested in that i think people need to be educated about.

PHOTOSHOOT

Moreover, Today I also carried out  an impulsive photo-shoot in response to the works or Petra Collins, featuring flesh colour tights worn with flowers underneath. To me linking two stereotypical feminine images, flowers and hosiery. I photographed using a disposable camera to achieve a "vintage" feel (also because the shoot was spontaneous I didn't have my digital camera on me) However, I'm really happy with how the images turned out as I feel they capture the concept of femininity, also it's enable me to experiment with various types of camera in preparation for my final shoot.

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6TH MARCH 2017

I decided to would get more useful work done today if i stayed in the Kings Cross Library rather than going to up to Archway to participate in the garment design draping workshop (as of course i'm not making a garment for my final outcome)

Today I organized the statistics gathered from my questionnaire and put the information into pie and bar charts, this helped me visualize the conflicting responses. Overall, I was shocked by some of the answers I received because often they were sexist and also highlighted how ill-educated people are regarding the issues of masculinity and femininity in today's society. This will give me a good controversial point of discussion when writing in my publication, it also makes me argument stronger as educating people on gender is the whole point of my final outcome.

2ND MARCH 2017

I spent the majority of today in the King Cross Library gathering more research relating to historical and traditional links to my chosen subject area, this will ensure my outcome presents a well-understood analysis of feminism and masculinity. I found interesting fashion imagery that related to gender fluidity (from Ashish and Graces Wales Bonner) and its associations, as well as historical information about the evolution of the suit and tie (a key aspect of traditional male dress) This is something that has really interested me because it provides a counter argument to issues faced by women and I hope to take forward in the development of my project.

In response to my new found research, I have decided to create a questionnaire which will help widen my understanding of people opinions when the question of 'gender' is raised. This will will helped me decide which direction I hope to move my project forward in as right now I am really interested in both aspects I have look at already.

UNIT 7 QUESTIONNAIRE

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28TH FEBURARY 2017

After receiving really helpful feedback from the group crit yesterday from my tutor and my peers, I spent half of today working on research gathering imagery and experimenting with it in my sketchbook using mix media collage and drawing. I focused predominantly on colour, mood and aesthetic as these are the aspects I feel need refining. This helped alot with deciding possible colour schemes for my publication and for the final photo shoot I will include in my 'zine'.

Because Jo, my usual Wednesday tutor was not in today I had Oonagh instead, she critiqued our work individually and discussed my project proposal in depth, establishing a few things that need to be reworded and made clearer in time for the final draft hand in. I found this process really helpful as in yesterday's crit I didn't have any individual time to speak to Petra. Also getting opinions from a tutor that is not accustomed to my style and the way in which I work was helpful as I could identify areas which I need to make clearer to the viewer in order for my concepts to be communicated efficiently.

After being away for Half Term (and working independently with little human contact) having lots of exterior opinions about my work has proven to be useful as it kept my concepts moving forward and has given me more inspirational directions to explore, which is fundamental especially at this early experimental stage of a project.

27TH FEBRUARY 2017

10;00am - Today was the first day back after the half term break. I feel pretty confident with the research i've bought in to show as over the holidays i'd done a lot of work collaging ideas into my sketchbook. I'm glad to be back in a creative environment as towards the end of the holidays I began to loose a bit of inspirations in my project. So i'm looking forward to see what other people have done, getting feedback on my work and accessing the Library to do more in depth research. 

5:00pm - We began we a crit in pairs where we outlined the concepts of our projects and briefly discussed our project proposals. Through this process I was made aware of the fact that I need to make my chosen subject area as individual as possible because feminism is an area so pivotal in current affairs addressed by so many artists and designers in recent collections. The honest feedback from my peer really helped as her feedback was highly constructive and made me realize where my project was lacking.

Following a second discussion in larger groups of 8, I have chosen to develop my research by looking at male feminist artists, instead of just female ones in order to enrich my overall argument by addressing the issue from both sides (from a male and female perspective). This will help broaden my understanding of 21st century feminism. Moreover, to aid my research I will also consider developing a questionnaire addressing the misconceptions of feminism to refer to in my publication.

EXAMPLES OF SKETCHBOOK PAGES DEVELOPED OVER HALF TERM

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Project Concept & Description (Taken from project proposal draft)           

For my Unit 7 Final Major Project I will be focusing predominantly on 21st century feminism and how it is misinterpreted within society today. I will also touch on the overall misconceptions of gender faced by men and women. The charity I will be fundamentally focusing on is London-based ‘The Dahlia Project’, a charity that supports survivors of Female Genital Mutilation. In my work I will aim to celebrate the sexual liberation of women as well as educating the reader on what “feminism” and “masculinity” really stand for. As a final outcome I am aiming to produce a publication exploring my chosen subject area. The ‘magazine’ will include a spread of my own photo-shoot expressing my creative response to the research I have done, as well as features on classmates and other artists work which correlates to feminism today. This will ensure my publication illustrates the opinions of many so that its representation of feminism is well-informed, thus, making it more useful as an education tool.

To ensure my outcome is successful I will also research various fashion journalists and analyse their written styles. Producing a publication rather than a final garment or textile piece relates to my choice of study next year (Fashion Journalism) as I will be able to communicate through my written work as well as in my creative work.

Project Review (taken from project proposal draft)

When starting foundation I was completely unaware of which direction I wanted to follow, as I was interested in all areas of fashion. However, the foundation has helped me identify my strengths and weaknesses and has therefore guided me in a direction I am passionate about and excited to explore throughout BA. I found that all my projects in part 1 and 2 were heavily focused on context and background meaning, instead of on the quality of my final outcomes and my drawing capability. By the end of Part 1 I was aware of the fact I

wished to follow the “fashion communication” route, rather than the “garment/textile design route”. From this I established that my written work was the part of my projects that I was most compelled by, thus, I looked into Fashion Journalism courses after seeking advise from tutors. I found that most Fashion Journalism courses are focused predominantly on writing, however the course offered at CSM deals with both the creative and the written aspects of the ever-changing world of journalism. I felt this was most well suited to me as I enjoy both these areas, also I feel that looking at journalism beyond just writing is a lot more relevant today. My final outcome for Unit 7 will correspond well with my chosen pathway choice as I will be able to write about my work and the work of others in a journalistic manner as well as responding visually to my chosen subject area.

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Tate Modern

ARTIST ROOMS: Louise Bourgeois

"Louise Bourgeois’s work is often autobiographical, while addressing universal experiences such as birth, death, love, loss and fear." 

"Louise Bourgeois is the first artist to be presented in the new gallery dedicated to ARTIST ROOMS. Located on Level 4 of the Switch House, the space has been designed exclusively to present a programme of solo exhibitions of work by the forty artists in the ARTIST ROOMS collection."

When visiting the Louise Bourgeois artist room at The Tate Modern Switch House I was amazed by the variety of work exhibited: large and small scale paintings and drawings in a variety of mediums, sculptures constructed from fabric, metal, clay, wood and various other materials ranging from large to very very small, it is clear that the artist has no favorable medium when creating her masterpieces. But instead her artistic stye is identifiable through her chosen colour pallet and the emotional honesty behind her creations.

Spending hours in the exhibition room reading the side notes for every artifact enlightened me on the commendable work or artist Louise Bourgeois, displaying how she draws from the memories and stories that shaped her life to create her own reworked reflective narrative.

Overall, my favorite pieces from the exhibition were the large fabric sculptures hung from ceiling, that depicted intertwined limbs and bodily parts. I admired the way the challenged the audiences perceptions as it was difficult to interpret what they where initially. However, after reading up on the sculptures it is easy to see how they aim to portray the often all consuming comfort of relationships.

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Georgia O’Keeffe

"Georgia O’Keeffe is best known for her paintings of magnified flowers, animal skulls, and New Mexico desert landscapes. This exhibition brings together some of her most important works, including Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1 1932, the most expensive painting by a female artist ever sold at auction."

Looking back to the retrospective Georgia O’Keeffe exhibition at the Tate that I visited last year I drew inspiration from her artistic concepts, focusing on her work which relates particularly to close up flowers. Her work aims to challenge the "conservative male". Widely accepted assumptions are that her famous flowers paintings are depictions of female genitalia. Although the artist vigorously denied her work was in anyway sexual throughout her lifetime, when seen in the flesh it was difficult for me not to draw vaginal images from the large scale oil paintings.

O’Keeffe had resisted the sexual reading into her paintings, which began in the 1920s but was then revived by feminists in the 1970s who took her work as a statement of female empowerment. To me her refusal to admit her work was related to the female genitalia acts a feminist protest in itself, as unlike most male artists at the time who's work is always open for multiple interpretation, O’Keeffe has been very much reduced to one particular body of work, which tends to be read in one particular way, therefore, by not revealing the deeper meaning of her work, O’Keeffe raises herself to the same level as male artists of the time.

Overall, although I visited the exhibition several months ago it has had a lasting effect on me not only because of the quality and beauty of her work but also because of the deeper meaning that surrounds it. Moreover, I feel it correlates to my recent research efficiently.

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INITIAL REFLECTION QUESTIONS:

  • List how you will fulfill your aim and your objectives in this project: (objectives are usually more specific than an aim. Think about the methods the skills and techniques, the processes)

- I will refer back to my project aims at every stage of my development to ensure my work relates to my project proposal.

- I will also refer back to my research if challenged at any point during my project so that whichever direction I take is well thought-out.

- Ensuring that my time is managed means I will fulfill my aims and objectives without forgetting something and running out of time.

- Also documenting my aims is significant so I keep a record of them.

  • List and think about your audience. Is there a purpose to what you want to do, or a specific user or group it is for?

-I’d like to think that my work is aimed at people of all genders, ages and races because it acts as an educational platform for female issues. However, although its important for men as well as women, because the issues discussed if experienced first hand by women my main target audience is women. 

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  • Are there any Theories tied in with your theme? (theory can be ideas or sets of principles)

- Ideas tied to my theme relate fundamentally to the challenges women of all ages and races are faced with in the 21st century. But most importantly issues relating to the repression of female sexuality.

  • Can you see re-occurring themes in in your work developing? areas you are interested in or inspired by? For example - If you are interested in something like architecture think why? What aspect? What does it make you think, in what context? 

- It is clear that in several of my projects I have explored the role of women, for example: I looked at the role of women in the 60s for my time lab project and the damage to Iranian women following the Islamic revolution for my culture swap project.

- I think this area interests me because it’s ongoing/never-ending and prevalent across time. Which means it can be considered as a point of discussion throughout history and when looking to the future.

- When talking about women there’s a massive bank of history that can be referred to in order to can challenge modern ideas and that excites me.

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  • Are you working within any parameters, rules, restrictions enforced by you or external? (for example the Bauhaus movement had specific design rules it followed) 

- I want to unsure that my work avoids being cliché and too obviously representative of ‘women’, I feel that too often artists use glittery tampons as a tool to represent women. I guess you could say I’m restricting myself by avoiding this generic concept.

  • What is the context of your project? Would it be a very different project in a different context? (Look up the meaning of context and the different types e.g. cultural, historical etc.)

- Because I am exploring issues faced by the 21st century women the context is very significant as feminism is such a historically prevalent issue, however, I will aim to focus on what feminism means today rather than referring issues from 1st and 2nd wave feminist eras.

- I touched on the importance of 2nd wave feminism in my time lab and culture swap projects therefore; I’m exited to explore something more current that has an active effect on me personally.

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