Assignment 3 – Tutor feedback part 3 WORKING FROM MUSEUMS

Overall Comments

This is an impressive body of work Penni. There is genuine interest and integrity in your working methods. You have worked steadily through the projects and made good links throughout the assignment. You are naturally inquisitive and show much creative flair. You have built well on previous technical skills and you demonstrate professionalism in the presentation and execution of work. You demonstrate sound research methodology which is an important skill to have at any stage. I have made some suggestions for consideration to progress, build on and reflect on this work and hope you find this helpful. Well done Penni, as ever you show real commitment to the course.


Feedback on assignment

Project – Creating a personal archive

A good start and research point for the assignment. There is a real sense of purpose to your investigation and genuine interest in your research. You write well and informatively about the artists’ work. Do make sure you reference your sources in the text as you go for images as well as text using the Harvard system. I have referenced this under Suggested viewing/reading.


Project – A portfolio of visual resources

An interesting research point; as above, you need to list all your references clearly in the text. You noted your frustration at using only on-line sources although the project did allow for you to work directly from museums as prompted under Project: Creating a Personal Archive, p55.


Project – Experimenting with imagery

Your response to Henry Moore’s drawings was sensitively explored and shows real strengths in mark making and use and handling of media. You also made good links with your previous assignment work using fabric and stitch. The shift of scale midway was exciting and showed potential for further exploration. You are naturally dexterous with media and your interest in surface texture and image is very apparent. Your studies capture the energy and intensity in Moore’s work and your translations suggest the potential for both subtle and dramatic mark making. The linear nature of the M.A.D museum exhibits linked well with Moore’s drawings; again, prompting new possibilities to explore. Good to see such a range of interesting object curiosities from the Pitt River Museum. Just watch that you work with a colour palette that fuels your imagination too.

Your sample translations were well considered and showed a real range of ideas, approaches, materials and concepts. In particular the 3D circle model, sample 3. I have included attachments of two Japanese artists for you, both weavers – Yoriko Murayma’s artwork from the recent Cloth & Memory {2} exhibition (Millar, 2013, p.82-83). I am sure you would find the catalogue a fascinating reference and Hiroko Ohte’s Close to Cloth’95-2 (Kawashima et al, 2002, p.60). I’m not sure whether the background fabric on the resin amulets, sample 5 is a digital print of yours? I think a light weight organza would also be an interesting base for some of your Henry Moore inspired print ideas. (I note that you have used a variety of fabric qualities later). Sample 6 is an intriguing translation suggesting an interesting juxtaposition of mark making, scale, mood, construction and proportion.  As intimated in my last report, try using extremes of stitch to create dynamic impacts of colour highlights for example. The coloured stitch in sample 4 is hardly noticeable. Do stand back from the work to give a different perspective.


Your conceptual translations are very interesting and show you pushing conventional textile boundaries. The wooden fabric is an intriguing concept particularly in terms of movement and handle, as are your resin trapped pieces and pleated raffia, palm-inspired piece. Have a look at the work of Lynsey Calder, a textile researcher who has used 3D printing to create dimensional fabric effects. You might also find the work of Susie Freeman interesting. Her signature work utilizes double knitting techniques (which she uses to trap objects) There are some interesting examples of recent work on her site which I have referenced. You touched on some interesting imagery experimentations and colour way ideas in reference to Will Barnet’s work. In theory, a good colour way is creating ‘like for like’, i.e. creating the same colour balance for example sharp against a muted tone, as opposed to creating colour groupings which don’t acknowledge these distinctions.

Project – Storytelling with imagery and text

You found interesting references and inspirational finds to stimulate project ideas. Using text within textiles is not simple and requires skill to integrate it effectively. Sometimes it works well because it isn’t obvious. This is true of sample 9 and sample 11. There are some really intriguing sample ideas. The Robyn Denny sample could easily be two. Whilst you have strived to translate the essence of the original artwork, your different construction methods suggest their own particular characteristics which could be extended rather than combined. The text in Sample 5 seems slightly at odds. Your handwriting on the other hand has a Moore-like feel to it similar to the organic nature of his marks – an option maybe? A suggestion of text as opposed to complete letters for example in sample 2 could also work – an opportunity to scale-up (over sections) maybe?


Project – Messages and meanings

You made poignant connections for this project and pooled on many references. Your sampling is delightful, assured and inventive in its concept. From the work you have submitted, it is clear how your proposal would / could evolve. A few pointers for consideration: to consider using dramatic or subtle colour highlights (whilst not detracting from the strengths of the neutral palette); to reconsider using acetate if you were to progress these ideas. From a textile point of view, it goes against the tactile sensitivities within your mix of material qualities. (You do state alternatives at this stage as being unrealistic). I have made suggestions to develop aspects of this work under Pointers for the next assignment. I also see the opportunity to progress this proposal in assignment 5. I realise you have already given your personal project some thought and note your update on this. Although this would take you down a very different path there is an opportunity to see this Proposal through to completion under Option 2: A site specific piece. It would also give you time to further explore and resolve textile sampling and the display context for the work.


I have given you a link to GF Smith in London who sell many papers from Japan and a web link to the famous Kyoto paper store and manufacturers, Rakushikan. The product information might be helpful. In answer to your question, the story boards could be either an initial or later development to reinforce your final outcome.

The critical review and final project

I understand your concerns about fitting the criteria. The important thing is that it discusses some aspect of sustainability (and that subject is broad). You need to start by establishing the sustainable aspect of Boro and make your discussions fit and support that context. What is it that interests you? What is its relevance today? Try and write with this in mind. Don’t try and force connections, they are probably there. Justify them from your point of view and use examples of others’ work where relevant to back up your argument. Don’t make it unnecessarily complicated. Keep your argument straight forward and interesting – your title idea seems relevant. You can expand that question in your opening paragraph. Try and give thought to the structure now to help you clarify the content and enjoy writing it!


Your sketchbooks show a real sense of your design process which creatively and intelligently makes good use of visual exploration and material testing within an A3 format. You might want to consider working across both sides which would allow you further scope for design development. Glad to see you taking the initiative to sign up to an online workshop.


Learning Logs

You draw on interesting and relevant research material and your annotations are clearly analysed and easy to understand. Again, make sure you list your reference sources for images as well as text using the Harvard system, E.g. Lynn Setterington, sketchbook (Koumis, 1996, p.70). There is a quote to have been said by Zandra Rhodes and later, an actual quote. Where was this information from? It’s good practice and an idea to get into the habit of doing so now.

Suggested viewing/reading

Pointers for the next assignment

  • Consider exploring large scale imagery in future design development. You touch on this but it is something that could be really exciting to look at through mark making for example. Have a look at the large scale printed textile hangings of Sally Greaves-Lord referenced above. You may find the use of mark making, composition and colour at this scale inspiring.
  • You have a real breadth of sketchbook work and sample ideas which could be digitally explored in the next assignment. I would suggest you research other artists work as prompted in the projects but consider using some of this work to progress and build on design ideas within a digital context. How exciting! This might further stimulate your idea for assignment 5 or be a completely separate entity.
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