Making sense of Symposium 1

Okay, this has definitely been LONG overdue. Symposium 1 happened last week! and I only just now managed to sit down to reflect upon what occurred. But it is not as though I was idling that time away, I have been working on all the aspects I previously mentioned in my post Pause which will help me get steadily nearer to my academic and professional goals.

So let’s get down to it. Reflections on Symposium 1 as per the Lawrence Wilke’s model:

  1. Remember: If I think back to what stood out for me in the second half of the symposium (which was the day I presented my work), it was definitely Janet’s work. It felt so alive and organic, like I was witness to an alien race communicating; similar to the way the scientists in “Arrival” are looking on at organisms inside the ship. And then her poetic style of talking also gave me a lot of food for thought. Ben’s work with the glitch art also struck a chord. It felt so dystopic and futuristic! It also reminded me of Robin’s videos, especially execution which has firmly imprinted itself in my mind. Execution was almost haunting! (in an excellent way) I also remember being incredibly nervous as this was the first time I had ever offered up my work for critique to peers and professors. When my colleagues responded with enthusiasm I felt, not only a surge of relief, but also a spark of excitement. Finally! the enthusiasm and love of like-minded people!!!!!

  2. Experience: So what happened? In a nutshell, I shared my symposium write up, and my classmates expressed their thoughts and feelings. There was praise for the hand written typography and a general consensus that my work had a vibrancy and fluidity to it that imitated nature. Everyone also encouraged my ideas about community art projects.

  3. Focus:  Specifically what Janet said was really interesting, “ if the natural world is speaking in natural form, proclaiming itself, celebrating itself in the form of the pictures of the calligraphy”. I also felt that she assessed my intentions correctly when she said, “khalid – your work is full of the energy of living, being alive, existing”. Steph’s input about the the vibrant, textured work standing out the most was also very insightful. Jonathan said that my research with the community art project idea in Pakistan could yield some interesting results since such a project hadn’t been undertaken in that region as of yet.

  4. Learn:  So what did I learn? I learnt that texture and vibrancy was an important aspect of making my work magnetic to the audience. I learnt that my aspirations for community art projects were something that stood out and made my aims original. I learnt that there is a lot of knowledge to be had about art and the context I want to work in and this is something I have to study more about. I learnt that now that I have put my basic ideas down on paper (well digital paper) I need to chalk out a definite and organized plan of action which will lead up to the evolution of a workable and thorough project proposal.

  5. Evaluate: One of the ways in which I evaluated the outcomes of the symposium was the post I subsequently wrote “Pause” in which I discussed in detail the next steps I want to take in order to consolidate my artistic journey. In that blog post I considered what NEEDED to be done in order to enhance my own understanding and sense of direction, evaluated the tools I had at my disposal, the weaknesses and strengths of what was available to me, and how I could collaborate with my surroundings (people and materials) to use those tools to the best of my ability.

  6. Consider: I’ve realized that there are goals to be reached DAILY which will add up to become the goals I want to reach long-term. I have listed down my ultimate goals and then I list down my daily goals in the form of a to-do list for the next day every night, which helps me keep in perspective the steps that need to be taken. So what are these larger goals for now?

    1. Take slow and steady steps towards the formulation of a Project Proposal

    2. Flesh out my ideas for the community art project and start taking concrete steps to organize it

    3. Continue to put myself out there in the public space through social media sites

    4. Continue to develop my signature style

    5. All alongside my everyday work (such as commissions, tutorials etc)

  7. Trial: And what are the steps I need to take as of now?

    1. Continue my work on the “Heedlessness” series to further explore this fusion of landscape and calligraphy.

    2. Keep up with the lectures and discussions posted by the professors

    3. Establish a rhythm for this blog, to consistently post entries with deliberate discipline.

    4. Organize an art event to draw together like-minded people in Jeddah

    5. 26th October onwards, begin an exploration of the art galleries and events taking place in Jeddah alongside “Arabian Jewel”.

    6. Continue my secondary research, reading as well as online, to understand the context of my work as Jonathan emphasized.

    7. Start mind-mapping my thoughts for the project proposal.


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