Today, I broke open my bronze cast which I poured last Friday! Started to cut them off the lump with the angle grinder now to put in the hours of working it until it amazing.
I really like the raw bronze on the top, mountainous side. There is something almost primeval about it and speaks to the raw nature of landscape.
The back of them I think should be finished, whether that be polished to a shine of patented. I can use these first attempts that I’ve cast as test pieces to see which of the finishes are most effective.
The word “dissertation” haunted me for a while; But, I can proudly say that my dissertation, as of 9:34 this morning, has been finished, bound and submitted! Its not that writing has ever been a huge struggle for me, but then I have never wrote a paper of this length or nature before. And not writing a full blown essay since first year, I was a little out of practice!
I’ve known what I’ve wanted to write about since second year, something that has always interested me – The Grotesque. It has intrigued me ever since my foundation diploma, basing my final major project around the subject and creating a grotesque sweet shop that users can interact and walk amongst. However, when undergoing my subject project in second year, I drew a connection between the grotesque body and how this is particularly emphasised within wearable sculptures.
So I started to research the area trying to find case studies and images to analyse. I was looking into exhibitions I’ve been to and research that I may have touched on during my other projects that featured the grotesque. I remembered that in first year I had attended a contemporary jewellery exhibition called Unexpected Pleasures at the Design Museum. This exhibition was a showcase for jewellers that experimented within the realms of wearable sculpture.
I then looked at how the grotesque has been used in contemporary art off the body, the way it was used was dramatic, but I could see that there was greater impact when the works were on the body. This lead me to think of a structure to the dissertation. I would first discus the characteristics and key themes of the grotesque, then how they influence contemporary artists and move on to the works having a greater impact when they are placed on the body.
This went into my dissertation proposal, alongside a justification for this research and my aims and objectives. I was very pleased (and fairly surprised) with my feedback from my proposal and it set the bar really high for the dissertation, hopefully achieving somewhere near that.
After my feedback from my proposal I started to look more into the theorists that explored the themes of the grotesque. The main theorists I looked at were – Creed, Kristeva and Shildrick. I benefited greatly by taking Cath Davies option in the second year discussing Goddesses Vs monsters – and how they are not as dissimilar as you would first expect. It allowed me a stepping stone so I could research these topics in more depth.
Even though these theorists often discussed different themes their was still underlying similarities to the theories. The fact our bodies were uncontrollable and the tension between the inner and outer.
When analysing my images I did a three column analysis taught to us in our first year study skills sessions. Its so useful! I use it across my three modules all the time. This helped structure my argument and found it a very useful tool when trying to gather my works in groups to fit under sub headings. I enjoyed this part, reading and analysing images and I really liked how clusters of my analysis and theory started to clump together.
However, As I started to write it up I came across a stumbling point. It went a lot slower than I originally thought, considering I had most of the research and image analysis already done. I found it a struggle to coherently get my point across. This could be due, like I mentioned before, that I was a bit out of practice in essay writing. I was reassured by Cath (my dissertation tutor) in one of my supervisory tutorials that this was normal and that I had plenty of time left, it was only late October after all!
I also lacked a bit of motivation over Christmas, I think this is probably because I was working so hard at it and not really getting any where. I picked myself up in the new year and latter part of the Winter Holidays getting the bulk of the writing down on paper. I felt a lot more confident in it when I had the bulk of it written and I could just edit it and shuffle things around so that it made more sense and expressed what I wanted to say in a clear way.
When I returned to university after the holidays, it felt like everyone was on Dissertation crack down! I was trying very hard within these two weeks to not let my subject work slip and get dragged into continually editing my dissertation. I fell I could of managed this time better but think I got a good balance of pre-hand in panic and continuing with my subject work.
After all, my dissertation and subject work are strongly linked and this dissertation has informed my own practice immensely. In particular, my last case study and the theory discussed within my conclusion; I start to look at how artists are now using the grotesque to show the body as something to be marvelled at – something beautiful.
I can honestly say, now that its handed in that I am proud of what I achieved and (in the most part) enjoyed my experience. To me this project isn’t finished, I will carry on this research as I continue to address some of these themes in my practice, even if it goes in a different direction (as it often does). There are many skills I have taken from writing my dissertation, and from my three years in constellation as a whole. My research skills being stronger, my time management is much better, I’ve learnt how to coherently construct an argument and I’m so much better at referencing!
I would therefore like to revisit my acknowledgements and thank the constellation team, and specifically Cath who has been my tutor through the three years, for helping me!
Handed my dissertation in today!
If I’m honest! I’m so proud of myself for finishing, to the quality that it is. I think I’ve constructed a well formed thesis, which is coherent and puts my point across.
Can’t wait for the next stage of this journey.
Here have a selfie…
Made good progress on my wax tree to transfer it into bronze soon. I feel in undergoing this process again I have become much more independent and confident within this skill. Now being able to position and construct the tree start to finish unguided!
I read what I’ve written so far page by page and its given me a great boost.
I’ve written two conclusive Paragraphs which I think are good and make a lot of sense.
Yesterday must of just been a blip, I must remember that this step back and reflection that I done today is a great tool if I ever have this issue later in the dissertation journey.
Feeling much more confident in myself today.
I have had a long and tedious day!
I’ve spent the whole day writing and I don’t think I have got anywhere. Most of the dissertation body is written, but for some reason I cant get these last couple of paragraphs done.
Tomorrow, I’m just going to take a step back and review what I’ve already done and hopefully this will help the process.
It was a slow start to the term for me, I failed to nail down a concept and run with it, instead I surrounded myself with too many ideas. In revisiting my summer project, I found something that I resonated with and moved on from that.
I think the main issue at the beginning of the term was that I was convinced that I wanted to create wearable pieces where as the concept did not fit this form. I think one of the best decisions I made was to drop the idea of wearable sculpture until it seemed more natural and less forced. This moment came just after the pitch with Zoe. I think in concisely depicting what I want to produce in the months to come I came to a realisation. This process of stepping back and assessing my work is something that I have come to adopt however, has hindered me in the past.
My main focus moving on will be the finish of my outcomes. I think in sticking to processes I know and have practice at will aid me in this, however I still need to be wary of this as I move forward.
Visualising my ideas has been a struggle, but I think I have generated some strong visuals despite this, embracing the use of collage and Photoshop that I learnt in my field options last year.
I am enjoying working digitally again, 3d scanning, modelling and printing and look forward to progressing with this next term. I look to learning how to CNC due to me wanting to produce bigger pieces of work in the new year.
Overall, I think I could be further along in my work failing to produce a 100% finished outcome for this assessment, however I think that the foundations of this work are strong and I look forward to producing the work in the new year.