Critical Evaluation

494 words out of a 500 maximum

At the beginning of the MA, I asked myself how I might synthesise the disparate elements of my practice into a cohesive whole? I approached this task with a willingness to experiment and break preconceptions by focussing on reflection, critical analysis, research and learning from others. The deepened knowledge and understanding gained has enabled me to identify the nature of my process and helped me develop a visible articulation of ideas.

Perhaps the most critical aspect of this process has been the blog journal. Daily writing with a reader in mind, has created a habitual space that fosters reflection and the development of skills towards a clarification of causes, thoughts and actions. It has become an invaluable living document with which I can build future projects as artist and also writer. As a result of the research statement, I am considering the possibility of a doctorate with a particular interest in the relationship between sound and sculpture in the context of thing theory and the living-presence response.

The restrictions brought about by coronavirus have made me consider the logistical and curatorial challenges posed by physical works. I have confronted this, finding new ways of proposing and reinterpreting such works where they cannot be physically present in a wide variety of ways using digital technology.

Working with others who often bring different paradigms but share a common interest in making art, has been a learning process in both critical thinking and communication skills. The web meetings and particularly the residencies have offered valuable opportunities for sharing, exchanging, collaborating, challenging and extending ideas and practices. The tutorials have fostered reflection and revealed new insights. Jonathan has a gift for constructively entering one’s process and has given incisive interventions that have helped to question and shape my practice in a holistic sense. Out of these encounters, new ideas have originated with the potential for deep development.

The journey I have undertaken is most clearly demonstrated in a juxtaposition of the presentations at the beginning, middle and end of the course. The transformation in clarity and articulation of my process, precipitating out in the final symposium video, is affirming and exciting. I started with vague loosely knitted ideas about myth, evolution and the role art might play in this arena. I have ended creating a coherent narrative in which my process has become a reification of these elements centred around the animal self, separated from but coexisting with the spiritual human being.

Finally, for an artist who’s primary interaction with his material is physical and sensual, navigating the digital ecology presents many challenges. I have developed a deeper understanding of my context in this rapidly changing world, and in doing so found new pathways and opportunities. I have emerged from this journey, with an enhanced ability to communicate a methodology and capable of delineating different trajectories from a flexible, coherent, and consistent core. I leave with a stronger, more authentic voice originating from within me in response to the world.