Over the Christmas break I felt like I was drifting, researching different artists and finishing off my essay I really struggled to figure out what I was making and why. My essay was based on research of 6 different artists and their use of unfired clay, the majority of the artists practice I had researched is based in metaphysics and existential concepts. It is interesting that when I set out I was interested in  quite abstract forms, minerals, geometry, geological processes but there is a shift in my context and concepts. I am beginning to make links with much more personal existential concepts relating to my own existence. Cath Davies' lecture on skin and clothing was brilliant, it really came at the right time for me. I revisited my practice, my studio walls, reflected and looked at other artists I had researched to date. I went back to my notebook/sketch book and did a refocusing exercise suggested by Cath. It made me draw out key themes. It also made me think about moving forward in terms of colour, form and texture.

I had feedback this week from Mahnaz on my essay, I was pleased with the result as a first stab and the feedback was constructive.

  • Include and Abstract of approx 300 words
  • In the introduction, define terms, relate to title of essay, clarify, why researching this topic, personal connections, the subject of the essay is metaphysical but the title implies physical characteristics, key themes, link to abstract.
  • Mention research methods and why choice of
  • In body of essay, read more depth into one artist, discuss more go deeper into individuals instead of covering lots of case studies, if discussing metaphysical concepts relate to theory
  • Get referencing correct, e.g. (born 1965-), On images label them with artists name, Call list of illustrations, Put author date and page number in in- text referencing.
  • Conclude by recalling the questions and introduction, what are the findings, limitations, where next, how has my findings informed my practice?
  • Following the conversation and the suggestion to look at some metaphysical theory including Heidegger I started to read Heidegger reframed by Barbara Bolt. A good book introducing the terminology used by Heidegger in the context of art and particular artists.

Had a really good tutorial with Pete, our discussion gave me confidence that I was finding my way and that ideas, concepts, images were beginning to make links, we discussed process, material and contexts and their interplay. We talked about signifiers and how Dawn Youll uses them in her practice but we also talked about sometimes the visceral nature of what one does and is attracted to and how it can inform the creator or subconscious actions, how a viewer may have empathy. There were some parallels in my work regarding control of form and material and the letting go or it controlling my creations, material occupying form or form occupying the material, we drew parallels to my own personal terminal illness and how it has manifested itself in my actions, my personalty and life and my practice. Same Bakewell's Bienalle piece was a collection of things he had made over a period of time encased in his installation piece.  Having read a little of Heidegger  I could relate to his concept of 'thrownness' and my understanding of my own Dasein (there being). An example of Sophie Calle's work at the Biennale 'Take care of Yourself' illustrated this concept in Barbara Bolts book Heidegger reframed.

The was a resonance here with my own personal experiences. My illness did have a huge impact on me and my experience, it affected my relationships with, parents, friends and lovers, my sense of being and my experience of facing mortality, my actions and decisions, how i lived my life, my perceptions of the world, existence and very deep personal thinking. This was also not a disease that was simply another in a raft of terminal illness it also came at a time when my illness was stigmatised, this was part of the 'thrownness' it made things more complex for me. It changed my life forever.

We discussed Joseph Boyce, Richard Deacon and Tony Cragg and I also want to add in my reading of Heidegger's writing and the Bolt book regarding his philosophy and its relationship to art and artists.


UncategorizedDean Coates