Thursday, 12 May 2016

First tutorial on the FDAD at West Dean

I thought I would share a couple of things that was said during my first tutorial. On the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at West Dean you get two tutorials. I had planned to have done four courses before my frst tutorial but having swapped a course I have only done three and a drawing day, which coincided with the tutorial day. In the end I decided that it might be good to have a tutorial at the start and maybe have the other at the end, and if need be I could pay a bit and get a third somewhere in the middle of the course.

You get one hour with one of the art tutors and are asked to bring some work for discussion. I saw a tutor who is a print maker. He is interested in a variety of things and was keen to discuss anything that I showed him. I brought my computer to show him the things I had done at West Dean so far, and I brought a couple of sketchbooks from OCA to discuss approaches. This included the box of bits that I had done as part of the sketchbook which I had been quite satified with, but which my OCA tutor had not commented on. So, in short, a variety of things that might trigger conversation.

Anyway, I found the tutor positive and interested, and he had several suggestions for my continuing work and artists to study. 

His first impressions were interesting:

Although purposefully placing herself within the sphere of constructed textiles, Lorna is    operating akin to a sculptor that has a painters’ feel too. This is very healthy and can only benefit her approach to making in general. She has very eclectic research material and is open to possibilities offered by materials, techniques and outside influences. This, again, is an excellent creative habit to continue with and I suggest keeping this intensity of research/sketchbook going.

Michael Brennand-Wood had said I used 'gestural marks', and here was a perspective that suggested some of my work is sculptural. This is encouraging as I have been thinking about free-hanging and voluminous making, and it also fits in well with my process approach. I asked him about 'voice' and he said I had this already.

On my sketchbook box of different elements he said:

You display a great sensitivity to materials; some of your ‘samples’ (although I see them as finished pieces) use minimal colours and texture to great effect - many textile artists fall into the habit of overworking pieces so that the viewer becomes overwhelmed by a mass of conflicting information.

Consider working in a vein similar to the sequences made for your OCA course - A4 pieces (hundreds of them!) that can have small gestures applied in small yet significant moments. Over time these will build into a concrete body of work. Whilst working towards an open studio next year is a positive goal, don't pre-empt what it is you could be showing. Consider hanging different/ important work (made on Cas Holmes’ course) in studio to show how differently you can work when pushed.

This last bit refers to a goal I have for this year to make some works that can be shown at next year's Open Studions in my area. Overall there were useful pointers as to how I could build up some coherent works in a smaller format - and it might be useful to just keep making and then decide whether to show things in series.

He concluded by saying

We discussed 'design' which you felt to be difficult - however making small thumbnail sketches to adjust positioning/placement of elements will hone and improve this skill.

You are visually astute, embedding different media well; continue to question, make and enjoy.

I had showed him my themebook, which he looked through and suggested I continue making books like this as they are concentrated ways of working.

So, overall a good session with plenty to think about. I have a couple of studio days coming up so will carry on working on felting and weaving, and will try to work out how this will sit with these suggestions. Definitely a worthwhile exercise to get a bit of feedback occasionally.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Lorna, I hope you don't mind me contacting you but I stumbled across your blog yesterday and I've really enjoyed reading it - very interesting and inspiring. Good luck with all that you are doing, it sounds challenging but rewarding! I've been considering studying with OCA and have also looked at the FDAD at West Dean but I'm concerned about finding enough time to study alongside my job. How have you found the experience of studying with OCA and West Dean? Kind regards, Philippa