Tutorial 3

Thanks to three month long summer vacations in Jeddah, the rhythm of my blog was completely thrown off. I ended up writing blogposts in my head on planes, while running after kids, in meetings and even while painting! But never got a chance to actually post them here. I did write down all the topics I want to write about, though, so that I don’t accidentally miss out a blogpost.

Here’s another reason why I haven’t returned too frequently to the blog of late. I am officially freaked out by the upcoming end of Unit 1. Random, frightened thoughts are squealing around in my brain such as,

“What if I’m doing everything wrong?”

“What if I get a horrible grade!”

“How will we be graded anyway?”

“Am I on the right track as far as this course is concerned?”

And many others in the same vein.

Anyway, schools start up again in a few days. I am back in Jeddah for at least a month and I finally have some space to breathe, unblock the panic locks in my brain and get back to this blog.  So let’s begin with one very important post that I COMPLETELY forgot to write (please don’t penalize me for being late); the tutorials.

Date: 1st June 2018

with Jonathan Kearney

Quite an interesting start to the tutorial with me mentioning how I have tons and tons of unused ideas just vanishing into thin air and Jonathan suggesting that I should have a blogpost of ideas that I haven’t looked into yet. It would be like a storage of sorts then; a garage to hop into when ideas run out or when I’m looking to try something new. THIS is something I HAVE to do soon. Otherwise, those ideas will be gone forever.

We spoke of my dabble in 2.5D animation and I mentioned to Jonathan how I wasn’t quite happy with it since it wasn’t reflective of the artwork I had made on the canvas. His insightful reply; if I want to carry a painting into the digital realm and tamper with it, I must think of it as a separate work of art. If I view it as an entirely different piece I will value it differently from the traditional piece. Makes so much sense! I haven’t returned to animation yet, but I will soon.

The ideas I spoke of earlier were regarding digital installations. I have always found the concept so fascinating and yet I haven’t really created any of my own (except the failed one a few blogposts ago). Jonathan mentioned work by Emma Smith at blue coat gallery. He sent a link which I will look into later. http://www.thebluecoat.org.uk/events/view/exhibitions/3829

He also suggested something interesting for the 2.5D animation attempts; that I should try to animate the works in progress as well, along with the final piece. Hmm. Something to reflect upon.

I also asked Jonathan to guide me a bit about the research paper since I felt a bit lost regarding it and he suggested think about the WHY. WHY am I researching the chosen topic? Check your motivations.

I spoke at that time about how I wondered about outsider art, and how art was rated in the world with some gorgeous art being termed retinal art and some completely strange pieces being hailed as art and vice versa. But my thoughts on this subject have changed now, especially after the tutorial with Gareth and my own exploration of my work further. I now feel like art is created because it needs to be, with no regard to what anyone else thinks, says, or comments upon and therefore my subject for the research paper has changed.

At that time I mentioned that I found Michael Craig Martin’s ‘Oak Tree’ to be one example of how an artists intention can manifest itself in the audience’s mind. Jonathan pointed out that, in the interview he conducted with said artist, Michael mentioned that ‘Oak Tree’ had seemed like the ultimate work of art and left him bereft of direction. So, it was like the ultimate hoax. You chase this ideal of art and if you reach it, suddenly you don’t know where to go from there and as you start over the cycle begins again. It was so enlightening to think of it from that perspective. Also, it was cathartic because it made me feel like slowing down was okay.

Jonathan suggested I read ‘The Gift’ or at least the first few chapters of it, which I still have to do. He said that the author explored the Native American concept of a gift being valuable when it is emotive and not when it has financial value.

I then asked something that had been bugging me for a while. I asked if there was anyway I could assess how I was doing, or whether I was heading in the right directions as far as this course and art generally was concerned.

Jonathan’s answers:

  1. Self doubt is so normal and natural. This is a self led course and art generally is also self led. The openness of the course is designed to benefit us in the long term.
  2. I was still juggling the various thoughts and ideas I am working on and that’s okay, a spirited start would probably have a good conclusion
  3. Spirit and determination is crucial, and he said I have that. YAY.
  4. He said that the tracks I have developed for my work will be enriched by who I am, by my identity and the resolution will be solid. Hopefully. <3

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