Professional Development Plan

The ups and downs of striving to fulfil my ideas with artistic practise proved difficult and at the beginning of my degree, although initially exited to learn more about the field of art, I soon found regret in not having done a foundation degree: I felt slightly behind the others on the course in terms of my range of skills and my understanding of art history. Struggling in my first year, I persisted in deliberating the way people work; the mechanisms of critical judgement and feel that now I have a much stronger understanding of professionalism in art and have grown the ability to approach ideas with a more abstract mind. I find critical judgement the most crucial but challenging aspect of the course: in my current position in third year I realise that through displaying work, I must be particular with what I include and make more conceptual, rather than aesthetic, decisions to do this.

During the second year subject module I have used a wide range of medium in attempt to highlight the high contrast between humans and nature as a result of ignorance. I began with collage and small installation pieces and then experimented with abstract painting. I persisted with the painting and my previous artwork got neglected. This is another regret because I’m not happy with the level of skill projected through the abstract painting, I can’t justify the composition and my end-of-year feedback reflected this. I think I needed to input a lot more time and effort into being in the studio and researching the ideas behind other artists’ outcomes in order to achieve higher and in hindsight; I should have taken the advice of my tutors during the year, into account for the direction of the work I produced.

The field modules I chose for second year was where I began to find myself as an artist, realizing what I wanted my art to stand for. Rob Pepperrel’s module: Art and The Conscious Mind, rediscovered my passion for psychology and philosophy and combining this with the interest in politics and society provided a new stance. Steve Thompsons Surprise Me module subsidised my ideas further because I could contemplate the conscious mind in relation to the Surrealist’s perception of it. Because of this new inspiration, my artwork grew with illustrating ideas like Externalism and the sub-conscious mind influence, although I regret not utilizing my time throughout second year by including more research like this.

The research I was being so inspired by continued during second year, fuelling my dissertation preparation form which has provided me with insight needed to write my dissertation. I was proud of this because the feedback I received from the preparation tutorial was positive and proved to myself that with the time invested, I was capable of grasping concepts and being critical of what ideas were more relevant than others, going by the complexity of the topic.

When third year began, I finally took the incentive to spend my time more productively: spending longer hours in the studio and pursuing ideas as soon as they arose, from this finding a new quantitative method in screen printing. I enjoyed this process because it was fresh to me and I could experiment easily and consistently. However, after the informal feedback at the end of first term, I realised that my critical judgement, along with my professionalism, wasn’t as worthy as I’d hoped; I had managed to create a lot of work of which took very different directions, disallowing me to execute and present the artwork in a professional way.

Because of this, I took a step back from my practise and focused on writing my dissertation, in the hope to rekindle the motivation I had gained from my research in second year. During the Christmas break, whilst finishing the writing, I concentrated on the range of artists and movements specified in the piece to discover what it was that I needed to narrow my ideas down to. The research needed to be deliberated for my thesis was prior knowledge to me, but applying this to the realm of artwork I revealed links to my own intentions. For example, learning about the actual mind of a Surrealist has shown me that my intentions work in a very similar way. Thus, I plan to expand my dreams to display an extension of my own consciousness. This realisation is really refreshing which gives me a lot more motivation than I’ve had throughout the whole degree, and I’m exited to see how I can elaborate this. So far, the work is exiting me and (seemingly) my tutors also. During my dissertation, I also researched heavily into Claire Bishop’s perspective on installation art. Bishop presents this medium as a tool of embodying its viewer, which is an aspect of art I enjoy encountering myself because I feel consciously engaged. I can see myself merging these two elements of artwork, with a lot more further research as to execute it professionally, for my final degree show.

I currently feel as though I have a potential direction, of which I have clearly lacked, which not only gives me work to get on with, but gives me confidence to be able to concentrate on growing my criticism and professionalism. After speaking to the Fine Art leader I have acquired the knowledge on how to ensure my blog is at a high enough standard to represent the upcoming work, again bringing positivity to the next few months.

When this academic year ends I hope to see my excitement reflected in the degree show because I know I have finally rounded off my intentions. From this I think I would be able to apply my professionalism to continue creating after this degree, for career purpose or for self-expression, but inevitably as a definite attribute attained from my degree as a whole.


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