Concluding My Three Years at University
The year is 2016 and I have settled into my first year at University. Before coming to the University of Suffolk, I was studying three years of art at college. Concluding the third year studying a level 4 Art Foundation Diploma. My main arty interests related to painting, sculpting and drawing animals. Animals were an easy subject as it did not necessarily require having an uncanny resemblance.
My first year consisted of creating a lot of work relating to the figure. Realised in both sculpture and painting, a frustrating feeling occurred as I began to try and create realistic art that did have an uncanny resemblance. My knowledge of philosophical theory and art history was very limited in the first year, I did not quite understand what was expected of me or how to write academically. Both problems were blatant with the results I received. My fascination with theory became evident throughout my final year of studying as a major requirement related to having to write a dissertation.
Throughout the second year I began to create art that minimalised and reduced detail. Completely unaware, my work began to subtract recognisable details. The magazine I created within the first semester of level five showcased digital edits of figurative photographs with the faces covered. The second semester I had created a translucent fruit bowl for the final piece, created after reducing the synthetic smells, colour and texture of the fruit.
The second semester of level five terrified me. I began to feel incredibly stressed, making myself ill over not feeling confident with my written projects. Although the grades were not overly drastic, I still was not satisfied. Theory was still an issue and it was integrated in a small amount with my practice. I realised I was purely making for the sake of. My work had no intention.
Over the summer of 2018 I told myself that I will graduate with a first or a very high 2:1. I wanted to prove to myself that I can, and I will but I needed to refine my writing and understanding of theory. I began my dissertation process by reading over twenty books throughout my summer break, relating to cognitive and sensory communication, to prepare myself for the writing module. Coming back to university after the break I found my excitement and mojo back, creating a vast amount of experiments that utilised mirrors and light. This series of experimentation was based around Experience and Phenomenology. Still not fully understanding of the topics, I created in response to what I could understand.
Merleau-Ponty was a theorist that I clung on to for a couple of months throughout the first semester as I found his writings easy to understand. Without reading more into Ponty and his theories, I would have not discovered a lot of the writings throughout the 1960s.
I never expected to be inspired by Minimalism, let alone create an installation based around the essays by Fried or Judd but here I am!
Around Christmas time, I realised what it was that drives my necessity to create art that is very including of the beholder and its simply because of my preference of art. I prefer to be immersed within an artwork than to stand and stare at an artwork. A realisation that made me feel incredibly uncomfortable with creating light and shape artwork as it was something I have never done before. I was a painter satisfied with creating a multitude of figurative paintings, so transitioning to strictly focusing on geometric shape and light was a very challenging leap.
The more I read, the more my work began to become realised.
I have created an installation for the final degree show that I never thought I ever would. I have created a minimal geometric room of luminance and darkness for the beholder to become immersed within.
Throughout the entire duration of university, I have learnt several things about:
Refinement and Presentation
The intention of my art
Why theory is very important for art
How to write an essay well
Feeling uncomfortable is okay, your comfort zone with creating is not always a good thing!
To take criticism
Confidence with creating and writing, because I can do it!
I am excited for the next chapter of my art career. I have already started to investigate MA courses, mainly based in London. I have received prospectuses from Slade, Sotheby’s, Goldsmiths, RCA and The Open University. I feel I am ready to extend my knowledge and to carry on learning about why I love art. I have looked mainly at Art History courses, as well as creative arts courses. Something else I thought I would never say.
See ya Later Uni!