Constellation Reflection

After I discovered a topic of strong interest in first year I decided to carry this through to second year. I adapted the concepts and theories I learnt in my Constellation lessons to fit around my interest of tattoo culture. This allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of my topic of interest and more in-depth analysis. I was able to view tattoo culture from different perspectives that I may not have come across otherwise. I studied objects and materiality and learnt about how objects can provide comfort for the individual. I learnt more and more about objects in society and was able to apply theories to everyday life. I decided to challenge the theories and see if they could be applied unconventionally. Due to my interest in tattoo culture I began to question weather a tattoo could be seen as an object. I have touched on this idea, however I would like to explore it more and I am prospecting that this may feature in my future work.

Studying something I enjoyed was helpful as I found myself applying theory in everyday life which raised questions and helped my ideas flow steadily throughout the year. As I began to apply myself to constellation I found that it affected choices I made in my practical studies. Constellation provided a foundation to which I could start developing meaning in my art. Both constellation and subject work overlapped well, however, challenged each in turn providing possibilities for new interesting endeavours. Although I consider myself more practically based, constellation provided a back bone for my practical work and influenced me to question the reasons for my actions. We learnt about how transitional objects can provide a sense of comfort for the individual and I found this interesting as I could adapt this meaning to tattoos. I considered weather tattoos could be used to provide a sense of comfort and mentioned this in one of my essays. This is another thing I might consider writing more about in the future.

I enjoyed studying this simple sounding topic in depth and considering it from every angle. Studying this topic made me realise how objects are socially integral in society as they provide a means of comfort, they are deemed cool and they can be seen as currency etc. I have changed the way I view the world and my own art. Constellation has been present in my field studies as in my practical work I have began looking at how I can reflect the landscape as an object. For my first field project I went to Pembrokeshire to study the landscape. While there I kept in mind what I had learnt in constellation. This freed me up creatively and I was able to express my self better. I was able to think outside the box and look at my work from new perspectives. When we got back we did an abstract painting workshop where I learnt ways in which the landscape can be reflected as an object. I painted the landscape from memory and then created a sculpture of the landscape and then painted that sculpture. This had the effect of reflecting the landscape as an object.

Constellation lessons taught me how to logically come to a conclusion that made sense. This is also something that has helped in other aspects of my work. Rather than seeing things so straight forward, I have considered arguments for and against things and developed clear logical responses. Academic writing doesn’t come natural to me as I lean more toward the practical side creatively, however, given time I believe I could apply the skills I have learnt in constellation to create a clear and logical dissertation. Learning and applying theories was a challenge for me as I found them to be quite hard to wrap my head around, especially when applying them to everyday life. I found that I would need to keep doing this regularly to practise and as time went on it became easier, however if I stopped applying theory regularly I would struggle remembering how to. Making constellation a part of my everyday routine was a necessity in order to execute an in depth and thought provoking analysis of my interests and the world around me. In constellation lessons we were split into group with new people who we did not know. In lessons I found that working with other students from different disciplinary areas did not benefit me as introducing myself and making small talk was slowing down the process of learning in this situation. I found that working alone or with someone I know from my course allowed me to work much more efficiently.

Overall, I have found constellation to be very challenging due to the academic requirements and the high standard of writing expected. Academic readings and researching has also been a struggle as I have only just got to grips with the systems that are in place to help. Despite this, constellation has been rewarding as the knowledge I have gained has created a deeper meaning to my work and the skills I have gained will benefit me in the future. I have developed new ways of thinking which has helped me tackle projects with a fresh mindset and helped me piece together clear and logical responses in not just constellation work but also field and subject work. Constellation has improved my writing skills which has helped with essay writing in constellation and my blogging and note taking for field and subject. Constellation has also helped my reading skills which has helped a lot when researching for essays and also researching a range of different artists that fuel my field and subject work. I found that if I keep up with applying theory in everyday life then this will be beneficial to my work.