Conclusion: Part 5 textiles

Demonstration of subject based knowledge and understanding
Broad and comparative understanding of subject content, knowledge of the appropriate historical, intellectual, cultural or institutional contexts.

Learning more about the life cycle of textiles and design for sustainability felt like important knowledge for anyone to have, whether directly relevant to their practice or not. The TED’s TEN gave me deeper understanding of how designers contribute to the future of our planet and that environmentally friendly / ethical products can be exciting. I related strongly to the concept of Emotionally Durable Design.

I was intrigued to learn that textiles are currently being used in award winning architectural projects.

It was useful – and fundamental – to consider when an object  fulfills a design role and when it is art.

I found myself contemplating why tapestry tends to be a secondary practice for artists and its standing in terms of art hierarchies.

There remain gaping holes in my knowledge – especially around the history of art and different art movements — but I now know much more about the creative arts scene today and it will provide a good grounding as I move forward to my Level 2 studies. In fact, I can’t imagine how I could have successfully made the move to the next level without doing this module.

Demonstration of research skills
Information retrieval and organisation, use of IT to assist research, ability to evaluate IT sources, the ability to design and carry out a research project, locate and evaluate evidence from a wide range of primary and secondary sources (visual, oral, aural or textual).

For the first time in an assignment I was not able to find all the information I needed online and I had to buy specialist books from the Henry Moore Foundation. This made me realise that research needs to be planned in advance of deadlines. I found good quality material about tapestry in the post war period on You Tube in the form of a talk by a university professor and this encourages me to be on the look-out for this kind of source material. It is refreshing sometimes to sit back and watch and listen.

I am very clear now about the importance of context (including time and place), underlying themes and the artist’s motivation  as  key research drivers.

Demonstration of critical and evaluation skills
Engagements with concepts, values and debates, evidence of analysis, reflection, critical thinking, synthesis, interpretation in relation to relevant issues and enquiries.

This course has given me some intellectual tools with which to  analyse the information I gather. And as I become better at making connections with art movements, other artists, events in history and the preoccupations of the age, I am becoming better able to make my own critical evaluations and express myself in an informed way. I recognise also that I am still at a relatively early stage in my learning journey and that there is huge scope for improvement.

The major outcome for me of having now completed Creative Arts Today is that I am better understanding what I am seeing and reading. My thinking has become more analytical and more broad-minded and, importantly, less dismissive.

The ability to communicate ideas and knowledge in written and spoken form, including presentation skills.

I started from a fairly capable and confident base in terms of written and spoken communications but even so I have benefited enormously from the course as my art vocabulary and understanding of many different concepts has grown. As a result I have become more fluent in my ability to express myself both in terms of describing modern and contemporary artworks and in interpreting them. But I know I can do better and with more knowledge and more practice I hope to continue to improve my skills.

Artists / practitioners to research further / follow

  • Jett Clover – Words and Walls. She prints words onto fabric and I’d like to experiment with this myself as an extension of my  printmaking.
  • Magdelena Abakanowikz for her Abakans and humanoid sculptures. I would like to see these.
  • Louise Bourgeoise’s textile works.
  • Tapestry in a wider sense including Grayson Perry, John Piper, Graham Sutherland, Joan Miro and more Henry Moore.
  • Christian Bolanski – I experienced a very emotional response to his artwork Personnes.
  • Fashion photographers Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, and Sarah Moon. There is much to learn from the way they pose their models and the angles and perspectives they use (especially Moon) and this could help my figure drawing and painting.
  • Designer Mary Katranzou. I was impressed by the way she takes inspiration from the home design environment  and it reminds me to always have my eyes and mind open.