Negotiated Project: Week 1

13th October 2022

Negotiated Project: This Project provides you with the opportunity for developing a creative practice. Through a Negotiated project proposal, you will independently initiate your working practice where you will adopt a resourceful approach to the practical engagement with materials, ideas, research, design development and production. You have been asked to contemplate possible and potential ideas that could develop a project. Your project needs to target research and investigate relevant art, design and craft contexts through written and visual means to develop creative ideas. Task 1. Use the Bristol Study Trip to gather and focus on appropriate and relevant resource material that could and would be instrumental to that project idea. Effectively record interesting, inspiring and useful information during and after your visit to develop ideas for this project through a physical sketchbook and digital website.  Task 2. Develop further visual and written information in a physical sketchbook and digital website over the half term period. This research will formulate more structured ideas on what your project could be and look like. From this basis write a Negotiated design brief (200-250 words) outlining your aims, theme or concept and the materials and envisioned outcomes, with reference sources.   On return from half term you will receive a Formal Module Launch and briefing. We will seminar on your research and proposals whereby you will enter into a negotiated tutorial that will advise, guide and assist you in the planning of such a project.

Simon Taylor, Lecturer, BA (Hons Art & Design

Armed with the above as a brief for the next 10 weeks we ventured on a field trip to Bristol, visiting the Royal West of England Academy, the Bristol Museum and Spike Island. I had pretty much an open mind about my project as to be honest I didn’t really have any preconceived ideas about where I wanted my project to go or what medium I was more drawn into creating.

I’m going to start with Spike Island because Lawrence Abu Hamden’s film of the 45th Parallel, was very thought provoking. I found it to be very well articulated and well delivered. It made me even more aware of the parallel universes we seem to live in and the ripple effect of simple decisions across the world. The two backdrops that you walk through of Damascus and the border crossing in El Paso-Juarez help highlight the divides in the world, but how one ruling in a court thousands of miles away affect the life’s of others. The other exhibition on at the same time was Rosemary Mayer’s, Ways of Attaching. I loved her use of colour, texture and materials. Her style and way of expressions even as she developed from her original sketch ideas to her material sculptures and paintings, were quite magical and intriguing.

I found most of inspiration at the RWA, there were so many great works of art that touched on many of the things that I’m interested in, repurposing found materials, ceramics, nature, telling a story. I found myself drawn to certain colours and some of the more abstract pieces. I guess the weird and the unusual seemed to stand out for me and as I see my emotions colour whenever I do any form of meditation or visualisation exercise, I take the pieces of art I’m drawn to as a reflection of where I am in that moment. There were a number of artists that inspired me with the unusual media that they used and I will be researching them further like Cathy Pink and Frank To. However, this artist Claire Sparkes watercolour and pencil depictions, had me looking for more to the story she was telling. These are not great photos of her work, but I think you can understand why I wanted to interrogate her paintings further. Plus my control of watercolour as a medium would just look like a runny mess and I would find it very hard to depict the same amount of detail in my paintings. Something to aspire to maybe?

I felt as though I was in a Brothers Grimm Fairy Tale.

There weren’t many things that inspired me in the Bristol Museum, I think maybe because I have seen a number of the paintings and ceramics there over the years and after the RWA and some of the work there that really got me thinking about composition and materials and how I want to tell my stories, it felt a bit like a non event. I was still thinking about the work I had just seen.

Now I have to go away and as per task 2 of the above brief, consider what kind of creative practice I wish to follow and write up a project brief.

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