The study skills session today was held by Dr. Alexandros Kontogeorgakopoulos. It focused on interdisciplinary research in Art-Science-Technology. In this session we looked at an art paper on whether we can ‘view’ sound. The paper was by Thomas Grill and Arthur Flexer, it was called ‘Visualization of Perceptual Qualities in Textural Sounds.’ Grill and Flexer created an online survey where you listen to a sound and then select one of five images which you feel relate to it most. As a group we listened to a variety of textural sounds and then independently chose an image which we thought visualised it the best. We then looked at all our results in a scatter graph. What I found interesting was that with certain sounds, the group more or less chose the same image. Thus showing that we are able to visual a sound, even if it is an obscure sound which we do not hear daily. When asked what we thought of Grill and Flexer’s paper and research I suggested that it could be beneficial to know why everyone had chosen the image they selected.
Here is the link to the online survey, which is quite interesting to complete!
The session was interesting, and reading a paper was and will be helpful for the future.
For our independent drawing session we were asked to complete close up studies of our own hands, feet and parts of our body. I decided to focus on hands in different positions and feet. I also drew my boyfriends hand in order to see how gender affects the appearance of different body parts. I feel I captured this difference quite well. I am impressed with my drawings and would like to use them in my work.
My favourite image is the one on the bottom left, I love that I have been able to capture all the wrinkles and feel the shading was very successful.
I have always been interested in 60’s fashion so I was excited when I found out we were going to have a lecture on the history of fashion.
Sally Grant presented us with this lecture. We began with the 1960’s, and how after the war, money and jobs were plentiful and there was a sense of freedom in the UK. These ideas were reflected in the fashion of this time and the industry was booming. This era put London on the map for fashion and the phrase “Swinging London” began being used.
We then went on to look at the 70’s, where Ossie Clark created a more feminine and softer style; influences began coming in from other cultures as young people had the ability to travel abroad to places like India and Morroco. Flares and platform were two iconic images of this era. Street fashion also became popular at this time and led to a confusion of genders. Rights between gay people, people of different race and women also increased this idea of androgyny.
We spoke about how cultures were influencing London but London was also inspiring designers from other countries; Kenzo and Yoji Yamamoto being examples of this. We also spoke about other designers including Laura Ashley and Celia Birtwell.
Though I am not interested in producing fashion garments, I like to follow fashion and find it amazing how much styles can change and how it can repeat itself throughout the years. For example, platforms were an icon in the 70’s however they are now very much in fashion again..
I bought a pair only a few months ago..
I’m taking some time to reflect on my experiences in my print and dye workshops. Over the four weeks, I learnt a variety of new skills and also revisited some techniques I had looked at previously in college and sixth form. I feel that though I knew a few of the techniques, I found it beneficial to revisit them as I learnt the techniques in different ways or more in depth.
For example, I first did screen printing in my foundation year in art and design at Swindon College, however I did not know how to coat the screen and clean the screen of my design before. I feel this new knowledge has made me more independent. I had also only ever used pigment on a screen, however during my workshops we experimented with techniques from flocking to using mylar foil with our designs. I found all the techniques exciting and feel I would like to pursue them in the future with different designs.
I also found it interesting to learn how to properly dye fabric. I had never really experimented with chemical dyes before, in my foundation year I often felt annoyed as I did not have the facilities to create dyes and often just had to use fabric paint to colour fabric – most of the time this obviously did not give the effect I desired. I feel excited about the idea of creating my own coloured fabrics to work with.
Steve’s interesting introduction to the workshop by making us ask him a ‘stupid question’ whilst doing the register, broke the ideology that there is such thing as a ‘stupid’ question. This created a more relaxed atmosphere where we could ask Steve anything if we were unsure.
I enjoyed the workshop and am looking forward to using the techniques and equipment again.
Week 4 : Inspiring Walks by Helen Watkins.
Today we had a lecture by Helen which was about places which inspired her work. She showed us a range of her own samples and different places which had given her inspiration for them. She also explained to us that we should be experimental and not worry about drawing ‘perfectly.’ Another idea which she gave us was to use nature in our drawings, for example drawing with twigs or mud. This technique would make our drawings more intriguing and exciting and is something I would like to pursue. Something which I found interesting was to be aware of the weather and time of day as this could affect not only our mood whilst drawing but also the light of the subject and the texture of our paper. Something I have experimented with before which Helen brought up was using natural dyes. In my foundation year I experimented with using tea to dye fabric however she expressed you could also use things you find in the environment.
“I have learned that what I have not drawn, I have never really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realise how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle.” – Frederick Franck
In todays drawing session we experimented with different textures you could create with different media. I used biro pen, fineline, graded pencils and charcoal to create a range of different shades and textures which I will use in future drawings. I found this helpful once I had finished but at the time I found it quite tedious. As a page in my sketchbook it is useful and I’m glad I completed the exercise.
Our second lecture was by Professor Jeff Jones. The title of the lecture was William Morris & The Arts and Crafts Movement. I was instantly excited as William Morris is one of the most influential textile designers and artists in history. We learnt how in this era, there were two movements which came from two opposing views; the Arts & Crafts movement and the Aesthetic movement. William Morris, who was part of the Arts & Crafts movement expressed that “It is not possible to dissociate art from morality, politics and religion” however, James McNeil Whistler a follower of the Aesthetic movement believed “Art should be independent of all claptrap and should stand alone.” These movements made me question where I stood in this debate and whether I believed art should be a form of expression of ideas and controversial issues.
The study skills session this week was held by Dr. Mahnaz Shah and focused on research and questions. We were to look at images and ask questions about the work, thus analysing the piece. In my group we chose an image by Duncan Grant called Bathing which was produced in 1911. We asked, “Is the image of one person and their movement, or are their several people in the image?”