Reflections on the Year

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This year has been an interesting one, I began not knowing if I would really enjoy the course as I was forced into it during a situation about money; I won’t bore you with the details, but therein arose a great deal of issues that inflicted me with a deep melancholy that didn’t cease for at least a few months. I started as I meant to go on, working hard and attempting to work in as many different ways as possible; in order to gain as much knowledge and as many techniques as I physically could, broadening my skills and refining those I already knew. The first term was strange, I struggled a little bit to come to terms with the structure of the course, and the pace of the course, especially in relation to the pace of the Foundation course, mad eme feel as if I wasn’t making as much work as I should have been. This, combined with the fact that I did not live in student residence at this point, and often found myself staying on the sofas or floors of others, clawing desperately at the life I craved so very much; and attempting to retain some semblance of living away from home; something I had looked forward to for years but unfortunately could not afford at this time. This, of course, had a great and taxing effect on me, and I slowly began to think that this course wasn’t for me; it didn’t feel right, it wasn’t what I had come to University for, and this slowly but surely, began to crush me under it’s weight.

Then, something amazing happened. As the Christmas holidays began to get under way, I heard whispers from a good friend of mine that a room was going in student residences, I had just gotten a new job that paid better than my old one, and I was about to quit the former one in favour of it. Of course, I took the room, but not without a debt to pay. Suddenly, my mood increased exponentially, I began to enjoy life and making Art once more, and this allowed me to develop a great deal more. Term 2 came around, and I became more resolved in my working patterns. I was also reeling from the deaths of not one, but two of my close family members in my Grandmother and one of my aunties, and this came as a blessing in disguise; through my mourning, my conceptual skills began to develop more fluidity as I began to deepen my understanding of my work, and it’s evolution over time. The trip to Berlin also allowed me to gain new influences and inspiration from a country that was not my own, as well as the trip before Christmas to Venice allowing me to witness monumental and cutting-edge contemporary artworks in person, something that I had not really had the chance to do before this time.

The third term really saw me getting into my element, my work began to develop and mature at an exponential rate, and it began to branch off into a multitude of different areas and themes. I began to experiment with a movement that  I had garnered interest in before, but not ventured into, and this was minimalism. I felt like my work was highly expressive, but lacked the aspects of minimalism that I was interested in, and therefore focused on this movement in order to develop my develop my skills in a way that I had not ventured in before. I also began to merge both the aspects of my own inner troubles and the artistic works I was creating in order to create artworks that both expressed my inner space and struggles, as well as my interest in artistic movement and developments. I also took part in the field project during this term, and although there were some issued through the forming and upkeep of this group, I believe we were successful. The issues that arose were mainly due to the majority of our group having a pessimistic outlook on our project and it’s development, which in turn affected our work process. However, once we overcome this flaw in our teamwork, by discussing how we could improve and change, and through each of us making changes to our work process; Ruby, who is a graphics student by trade and therefore must have a final piece in mind, began to loosen up and allow her creativity to flow in a way that she had not allowed it to before, Samuel to begin experimenting with both group work and his abilities with sound manipulation in order to benefit the work, Rhys to change his style from just portraits, Laura to shift and adapt her own working process to our own (she was very good at this, Laura was always able to adapt to given situations and work in groups, she is gifted like that), and I also began to loosen up and not take so much control over the group’s direction, which I often find myself doing. The last member, Jadene, was absent for the vast majority of our project and this also was a detriment to the work, but she did put in some good ideas to the project, and this did benefit it in some way. The field project was interesting, but I do not feel it influenced my work in any particular way, which is interesting, but I believe the reprieve it granted me from my more personal project also allowed me time to break away and ruminate upon it.

I believe I have done well this year, despite my initial struggles both with the course and also it’s structure; I think I have adapted well, and am extremely excited for next year, and all the artistic discoveries and developments it will bring!

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