Part Five: Building a Collection

The course notes for this section begin with a quote from Chris Ofili

“The studio is a laboratory, not a factory. An exhibition is the result of your experiments but the process is never-ending. So an exhibition is not a conclusion”

Younge, G. (2010) After the Elephant Dung: Chris Ofili https://www.garyyounge.com/article/after-the-elephant-dungchris-ofili

I am drawn to Chris Ofili’s description of the studio as a laboratory as that is very familiar to my previous studies. I like the idea of experimenting with different techniques and recording them in a sketchbook much as you record experimental notes in a lab book.

Many of the ideas I get come from the research I do, reading around and looking at the work of other artists or even things that I have seen years ago. I like to let the ideas float around in my mind and have a plan of what I want to do when I am in the studio. I think up to this point I have a natural tendency to read about techniques extensively before I give them a try for myself. I would like to take a more experimental approach and aim to do that with this final project to push myself further.

Ofili’s view that “an exhibition is not a conclusion” was an interesting idea as, if I am honest, I have always seen it as such. I think I view an exhibition in a similar manner to writing a scientific paper in that you write up when you have a conclusion that you can draw. This doesn’t mean that you never work on a related idea or a new question that has been raised, only that you have enough results to feel that it would be of interest to others.

The notes ask us to “write down how [we] feel [we] would like to conclude or stop at the end of this course” and I think that I would like this project to be a template or springboard that allows me to start generating work of my own that is more considered. I am aware that there are a lot more modules to go before I complete the BA but I am not taking to course so much to obtain another qualification, rather to be exposed to ideas and processes that I might not encounter otherwise.

I feel that the work I have produced so far could be pushed further although there are whole sections that if I had the time I would rework entirely (such as Assignment 2). I am eager to undertake part 5 of the course as I feel like it gives us the perfect opportunity to start from scratch essentially and put into practice what we have learnt in subsequent sections. I feel that I have gained more from the experiments than the final outcomes of the earlier sections but was more satisfied with the latter assignments. I am not sure that I see the assignments as “conclusions” in that they are more of a record of the experiments that I have embarked upon and feel that they are a stepping stone to making better textile work in future.

[All links accessed on 16/6/19]

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