Monday, 23 January 2012

First version of evaluative report

Just in case it ends up completely dead from my butchering 167 words from it, here is the proper, complete version:

    This first term has taught me a lot, and it is a highly beneficial exercise to evaluate it now.
    My biggest personal success has been to do with process. I have been very experimental this term, and have tried many different processes. One major factor in this has been my tutorials: I have used these for reflecting on what I would like to do, and then I have made steps to change and grow. The most noticeable aspect of that is my use of colour, especially watercolour, which I previously had wanted to use despite continually falling back on using pen. I have also experimented with other methods such as printmaking, collage, and pastels, which I was inspired to use following some research on Cuban poster art of the 1960s which was introduced to us in a lecture. As well as inspiring me to use pastels, that lecture also changed how I visually communicated for the first part of the next project, Project 5. Influenced greatly by Eduardo Bachs, I started using block colours, very bright, and simple graphic pictures to illustrate my point. I highly enjpoyed working in that way, despite the fact htat I felt it was not my style. I think experimentation is very useful in determinig or understanding how one works best individually. I have vastly improved my actual drawing skills, and I have become quicker. This is evident from a consideration of my first work drawing people in the class on the first day compared with my most recent portrait work during the joint ‘Camberwell Needs’ project.
     My work has been enhanced by new opportunities to learn, such as the printmaking workshops, and by challenging briefs, for example for ‘Object’ I set myself the challenge of learning to bookbind. Self-motivation in regards to process drives a lot of my work. Also, seeing the work of others has been inspiring and has also taught me about how I work.
       My visual resaechhing skills have greatly improved, as a direct result of Project 2. my visual research has also been informed by contextual studies into ways of drawing and seeing more intuitively and sans camera. This research stemmed from the written assignment, which, like the lecture sersie, inspired me to dig ever further to learn more, even though it wasn’t always directly related to the course, but to wider psychological and sociological issues.
     Visual research has also been a stepping stone to imagination, which surprise me as I had never previously seen the link between a lot of research and greater imagination. I now recognise that research provides the toys my imagination can pick up and play with, and the more I do, the more toys it has. The ‘Object’ brief is the greatest indicator of research leading off into vastly imagined realms.
      The biggest threat to my research is probably time combined with stress. The workload of my actual work often limits the time I can dedicate to research, especially artist research, which admittedly I could do better with, as I hardly feel it directly influences my work. I tend to look up artists and designers but not reference them because I find no link to my work or working style. This is one area I would like to improve this next term.
      Time and stress also affect my practical work slightly, albeit not as much as I know they could. This problem tends to curb my enthusiasm greatly, meaning I produce work robotically and without care sometimes, although I make sure I never work sloppily so it might look like it. Stress has also impacted on my physical health and emotional state this term, and I am avowed to improving that next term by putting better systems in place, whether that’s to do with time management or something else. This will help me to dedicate time more productively and produce better work.
      In conclusion I feel this year has started exceedingly well and I look forward to another wide range of projects that will allow me to develop further.

I hope that was all spellchecked. I'm about to read it now.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Joint Project

A wise tutor once said to me if I didn't like group wrk, I hadn't met my right group.
Well, I've found my right group. I've thoroughly enjoyed this project. I think short projects are always much better, as I find it easier to focus and it's a much better dynamic.
     We made a pack of cards. Honestly, it's so good, I want to send them off to actual card designers and get them professionally done. Leaving them behind at the exhibition was very very hard. Call me paranioid, but I have had work stolen in the past, and I'm terrified people will take the cards. We did make sweet wrappers, (wrapped around sweets) they can take those. but not the cards. We'll put a sign up on monday.
     I really liked utilising everyone's talents on this project. Initailly, it was good to have everyone's brains thinking in the ideas-development stage. After that was when we all started being individually useful. I did the card design and the portraits. Originally, I did in my typical style of illustrating, and once it was chosen we all worked on it inputting text. One graphic designer did the type, and the planning, another stunned us by coming in the next day having taken my design, and put it through illustrator. Although I preferred my original design, as it had more character, from the hand-drawn element, it was true what she said about on the computer, the ink lines not being sharp. If we'd printed them, they would have looked blurry. So she'd copied my design digitally entirely out of adobe illustrator vectors. Goodness knows how, but she sat there for a whole day and computerised the whole design.I definately plan to learn illustrator. And the finished cards look fantastic, very professional, which is partly to do with the printed vectors, and also to do with the card I bought, at the recommendation of our 3D designer, which looks like real card paper, except it isn't shiny. It's just brilliantly textured.
    That is the brilliant thing about group projects of this sort. The rest of us didn't know how to use any software except photoshop, but she did, so was a great help.
   Similarly, our 3D designer was very useful in the planning and making of the table top.
I'm greatly going to miss working with this group. This has been the first project I've properly enjoyed. Previously I've slogged through them, trying to find a part that excites me, and failing. So I feel my work's been a bit average. But this- this is different.
     Next on my to-do list is the book project coming from the Object brief. I enjoyed that most before I started this one, because I got to  write a book, which is what I plan to do with life in general. I still ahven't done the illustrations, planned to do them this week, but of course couldn't what with this project.
    That's one annoying thing. Why do we have three projects at once? Now, of course, it's down to two, but taht's still one too many, seeing the level of work I'll have to produce. I've been learning a lot about how the other design courses are run. Hmmm. I want more projects with real practitioners! We haven't had any! I hope we will, as that is the main reason I wanted to come to camberwell so much: to build up such links.
    Also, although they too have  a lot of work, they have less overall pressure, seemingly, as they haven't bene given more than one project at the same time. And here I was thinking my stress was normal!

(Here are the picture of my original card design.)

The figure is just for spacing. I assure you, none of the portraits look like that!
    My body functions are shutting down from exhaustion. My christmas holidays were more stressful than last term. That's not good! I need a break. I'm only human, and I don't want to have  anervous breakdown at the age of 20, and I actually feel as if it's going that way.

Anyway, here's to a good project! I'm off for gelato.

Sunday, 8 January 2012



Amarasingam, A. 2010, Religion and the New Atheism: A Critical Appraisal (Studies in Critical Social Sciences) Brill Academic Publishers
Apostolos-Cappadona, D.  1997, Art, Creativity and the Sacred: Anthology in Religion and Art, Continuum International Publishing Group
Berger, J. 2008, Ways of Seeing, London, Penguin
Conover, T & R, 2004, Graphic Communication Today, Delmar Cengage Learning
De Botton, A. 2002, The Art of Travel, London, Penguin      
Elkin, J. 2004, On the Strange Place of Religion in Contemporary Art,  Routledge
Ernst, M. 1976, Une Semaine de Bonté, New York, Dover
Gombrich, E.H, 2006, The Story of Art, Pocket Edition, London, Phaidon
Heller, S. & Chwast, S. 2008, Illustration: a Visual History, New York, Abrams
Kandinsky, W. 2004, Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Kessinger
Nietzsche, 2007, Hammer of the Gods, Solar Books
Perry, G, 2011, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, London, British Museum
Plato, 2005, Phaedrus, Penguin
Read, H. et al., 1937, Surrealism, London, Faber and Faber,
Urantia Foundation, 1999, The Urantia Book, Urantia Foundation

      Waters, F. (2011) Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, British Museum, review, The Telegraph, accessed online:
On 25th December 2011
      Jenkins, T. (2011) Grayson Perry: The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, British Museum, London, The Independent, accessed online:
On 25th December 2011
     Cumming, L. (2011) Grayson Perry: the Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman – review, The Guardian, accessed online:
On 4th January 2012

Frans Masereel:
Max Ernst:
Une Semaine de Bonté, Dover, 1976, p.141
John Heartfield:
Fortunato Depero:

Damjanovic, S. at, 2007, Modernism- Modernist Art (Internet) available at (30.11.11)
Hinrichs, B. 1995,Chaos and Cosmos: the Search for Meaning in Modern Art. (Internet) available at (30.11.11)
Hinrichs, B. 1995,Chaos and Cosmos: the Search for Meaning in Modern Art-Page 2(Internet) available at;col1 (30.11.11)
Hinrichs, B. 1995,Chaos and Cosmos: the Search for Meaning in Modern Art-Page 3(Internet) available at;col1 (30.11.11)
Hinrichs, B. 1995,Chaos and Cosmos: the Search for Meaning in Modern Art-Page 4(Internet) available at;col1 (30.11.11)
 Kreis, S. 2000, Lecture 3: Nietzsche, Freud and the Thrust Towards Modernism (Internet) available from (30.11.11)
Kreis, S. 2000, Lecture 9: The Age of Anxiety, Europe in the 1920s (Internet) available from (30.11.11)
Boles, D. 2008, The Role of the Artist in Society (Internet) available at
(22nd December 2011)
Close, H. in Outside the Box, 2010, The Artist’s Role in Society (Internet) available
Johnson, E. 2009, Modernism and its Impact on Spirituality (Internet) available at
Gormlie, F. 2009, What is the Role of the Artist-Intellectual in Society? (Internet) available at (4.01.12)
Burns, C.D in International Journal of Ethics, 1924, The Old Religion and the New (Internet) available at (5.01.12)

  Perry, G, The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, British Museum, 6th October 2011- 19th February 2012

 Appendix 1: Lecture One,  7th October 2011

Section Four

4-Critical Analysis

      The view that modern art has become a new religion has been long-held by
respected artists, such as Kandinsky, whose book ‘concerning the spiritual in art’
 examines such issues. In the introduction to the book, Sadler states concisely that
 artists have awakened to their role as spiritual leaders. (Sadler in Kandinsky, 2004)
 This is in harmony with De Botton’s thoughts as to the spiritual leadership role of an
 artist, as discussed in the previous section. But this might contradict with one of
 modernism’s characterising traits: abstraction, which seems to confuse art. But one
 must understand that abstraction was born out of a desire not to confuse but to strip
 away irrelevancies and see the whole truth, from all angles, in the case of cubism.
       However the issue of clarity remains, as many do not understand modern art and
 Are disinclined to try to. Most who ignore the spiritual in art do so because it cannot
 readily be seen. (Elkin, 2004) Sadler’s introduction further states that for the spiritual
 leaders’ message ‘to have weight it must be comprehensible.’ (Sadler in Kandinsky,
 2004, p.2) That is where visual communicators come in, uncomplicating the
 introspective notions of artist and thinkers into readable images for the public. In this
 sense, it is in particular illustration that has the greatest role of marrying art to the
 public, as illustration is the first art any of us ever. (Heller, 2008) Modernism has
 faded, swallowed by the mainstream to produce post-modernism, mainly because of
 the commercial aspect, which was at one time heavily praised by modernists. New
 printing technologies such as lithography and the camera made speedy reproduction
 easier. (Appendix 1, p.1) This in turn killed experience and made originality
 something to be revered. (Berger, 2008) This translates into an obsession with
 possessing what is thought to be beautiful but not understood, such as the Mona Lisa,
 who attracts millions of pilgrims eager not to see her but to get a frantic picture with
 her, to show off back home. Such reproduction has utterly changed the meaning of
 art. (Berger, 2008) However, it has lent weight to the theory that art is becoming a
 new religion; art objects are becoming the new holy relics.
      But where does the surrealist work of Ernst fit in to all this? Surrealists adhered to
 the modern notions that god was irrelevant. (Davies in Read, 1937) Instead, their
 work is introspective and illustrates ‘Know thyself’ rather than know god. (Plato,
 Penguin, 2005) Ernst’s work is also an example of this as it is surrealistically removed
 from reality and speaks to the subconscious.
      However, it can be argued that whilst surrealism treats god as a concept as
 irrelevant, it does however follow god’s creative and imaginative footprints through
 self-duplication and self-elaboration’. (Davies in Read, 1937, p.146) Therefore,
 surrealism fits into this essay by showing people as individuals how to become their
 own god in their own lives, an idea that was welcomed in the distrusting atmosphere
 of the 20th century.
     In conclusion, it is clear that modernism is a very vast subject, and cannot be
 summarised concisely, but it can definitely be said that its core principles are based on
 a search for meaning and truth, and this pursuit it has also appropriated the role of a

Section Three

3-Quotes and Citations

       By its very name, modernism was foremost a rejection of the old. One previously
held doctrine to be scrapped was strict verisimilitude in image-making which resulted
in a kind of flatness despite proportional perfection. (Heller.S & Chwast.S, 2008; De
Botton, 2002) Modernists knew that ‘we can never neatly separate what we see from
 what we know’ (E.H Gombrich, 2006 p.433) and in accordance with that, modernist
 art strives to capture wholeness in a scene rather than perfectly reproduce it.
      There is an element of religiosity in modern art, as fans and intellectuals
 obsessively gather various modern relics, capturing beauty in a single frame. (De
 Botton, 2002) Galleries have become as respected as temples, even attracting pilgrims
 (Perry, 2011) Perhaps the purpose of this religiosity is to fill the void left by the
 ‘death’ of god, (Nietzsche, 2007) in a time when mankind needed direction due to the
 crisis following WW1, which not only desecrated the Western world but also caused a
 morbid uncertainty regarding the future, which had previously seemed more concrete
 than past civilisations such as Babylon or Rome. (Valéry in Kreis, 2000) This was
 reflected in the arts, as old bourgeois fancies were stripped away and the raw truth
 suddenly acquired a new importance.
     Gombrich concisely puts it ‘…if something is only designed to fit its purpose we
 can let beauty look after itself.’ (Gombrich E.H, 2006, p.431) This is especially
  evident in architecture and graphic design. In illustration the search for truth became
 a depiction of truth. The work of expressionist illustrators such as Franz Masereel,
 who even extended his principles to film, shows how closely the movement was tied
 with reality. ‘…The Expressionists felt so strongly about human suffering…that they
 were inclined to think that the insistence on harmony and beauty in art was born out
 of a refusal to be honest.’ (Gombrich E.H,  2006, p.437) As a result, Expressionist
 work contrasts most vividly with previous artforms such as Art Nouveau, avoiding
 irrelevant decoration and prettiness. (Gombrich, 2006) Describing society in an
 attempt to change it was a far superior goal. Artists became as religious leaders,
 showing the populace what was true and most profound, through their ‘faith in the
 eye-opening power of art’. (De Botton, 2006, p.189) Illustrators became the new
 evangelisers, bringing these elite ideas to the people. (Heller.S & Chwast.S, 2008)