I had both research and practical studio tutorials this week. I had done a little pre-reading of Gillian Rose’s book ‘Visual Methodologies’ in preparation for my tutorial with Manaz as I had little knowledge of research methodologies in the arts. Having read sections on compositional research and a little on perspective I was surprised to find a very ‘open’ approach being encouraged by Manaz suggesting that I don’t follow any research formats so as not to restrict my findings.
My proposed research question was ‘The Use of Unfired Clay as a Medium in Contemporary Arts Practice’. Manaz questioned my choice Do They? Why? How? etc. This lead to a rethink in the title ‘Why do Contemporary Artists Use Unfired Clay as a Medium in their Practice?’ I chose this as I was drawn to the work and talk by Phoebe Cummings at a recent exhibition in Cardiff Museum ‘Fragile’. Her work is temporal and made in situ responding to the contextual environment, no-one can take it away or own it. I like this idea but there are other factors in her choice (if it is a choice) to use unfired clay, why do other artists choose to not fire clay. I have a direction for my research project, case studies and possible interviews on a selection of artists.
My tutorial with Pete was insightful and reassuring. Having never completed a BA in an arts subject I did feel quite out of my comfort zone talking about my work which is 2D based in painting. Feedback from Pete was positive, saying that I had thoughts on Context, Material and Process. Each of these related to the exercise I had done earlier in the course selecting 30 words and images. The context was based in the physical inorganic nature of the earth’s structure from the atomic crystalline structures of minerals to the large mountain ranges folded by compressional forces. My selection of words were also indicative of the physical forces at work, a selection of verbs and resultant nouns to describe the resultant structures. Pete suggested I use these as visual metaphors when experimenting with material, perhaps combing them. I need to explore this idea with a lot of experimentation, combing ideas and exploring the effects on a multitude of materials.