WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A WOMAN FINAL EVALUATION / DISPLAY

As we are coming to the end of this project ahead of assessment date on the 18th, I wanted to write out some of my thoughts and feelings in this evaluation. Although I have overall enjoyed this project, there were still a few bumps.

I always find it difficult to initially choose a theme when given the opportunity. My worries revolve around if my chosen theme has enough in it to last me the length of the project, or if I’m only picking it because I like it outside of college, or if it’s just a fling of an interest that I’ll become bored of before it’s incomplete etc. I took a different direction when beginning this project, firstly making a quick mindmap of ideas before jumping on to Pinterest for inspiration. I had already made a few boards of things I find aesthetically pleasing, and the fact that a lot off my work and personal life revolves around feminism made it pretty simple to start off. I did not have an exact plan from the beginning, but I think that’s a good thing. I wanted to be more free as in the past preplanning has lead to me feeling lost and uninspired.

Basing the work off of my own doodled outside of college allowed me to play around with subjects I knew I had a lot to say about. The next step was to figure out how I would like to display it and why. I found that this project has not only allowed me to have fun and enjoy what I am making, but taught me new skills in the world of textiles and collage through problem solving. There had been a few times where I challenged myself, e.g. when creating collage pieces only using paper instead of adding drawing. I made myself keep trying and combining techniques to come out with work I was happy with. I also had a few moments of reflection when I doubted myself due to the title of my project. It was titled far too early, and that loomed over me at times. I have come to learn that I need to focus more on making before setting something in stone, as doing this was not helpful to my own understanding of what I was trying to say with my art. Once I overcame this and finally learned what my title meant to ME, it became much easier and more enjoyable to work.

The problem solving mostly came in when I started to combine textile sewing work with my 2D art. Taking inspiration from my original drawings and contemporary artists, I started using sewing in respect to women in the art world and the history of feminism. I did a lot of contextual research for this project, which not only helped me to understand the history of the techniques and materials, but why they are important in womanhood. I felt a sense of respect and closeness when sewing these works, which made the whole experience a lot more fun and special. I also think this aided my own motivation and inspiration to work.

The mistakes and attempts to create a quilt were incredibly frustrating and time consuming. I worked around this by retrying again and again, as well as altering the style and method each time to perfect it before doing on a larger scale. Those who make Youtube quilt making tutorials make it look a lot easier than it actually is. However, with a bit of practice, I was proud of how I contorted the technique to make it easier for myself and make the work look a lot neater. These smaller attempts were extremely helpful when it came to making my resolved quilt – and I can confidently say I am proud of the outcome.

When it comes to presentation, I am still undecided. My feedback during crits commented on its size as it is still slightly too small in compare it to a bed quilt. However, I was concerned about it being a wall hanging as both sides have their own importance and detail – but was told about the artist Sean Edwards. Edwards is a contemporary artist who displays seemingly every day objects in interesting ways. His method of walls hangings in an exhibition space is to simply hang them from a metal pole jutting out from the wall. The audience is then able to look around the full work, as seen below in the pieces titled ‘Wholecloth Quilt in The Sun and Daily Mirror Pattern (Red and Grey)‘ and ‘Wholecloth Quilt in The Sun and Daily Mirror Pattern (Orange and Blue)‘ both from 2019.

If I were to display my quilt/wall hanging, I would consider this method as a way of showing off detail. However, I do love the idea of people being able to touch the work in a controlled environment so that they can experience it as a textile blanket. To engage with the piece would only emphasise its homely and comforting feel.

I also love this installation piece by Tracey Emin, and would consider it a way of displaying my own work. Putting the piece on a bed gives it context and security in the artists intent of what it is and what it is for. Seeing the work in a domestic location makes it feel very homely and warm.

I think if I had all the time, materials, and space in the world then I could have made something much bigger to fit the qualities of a quilt, however I am proud with the work I have made. I was able to overcome challenges concerning ways of working, as well as my title issue – which I have learned to not pull me down and/or misguide me. Contextual research also helped me to understand why I am making the art and using the techniques/methods, as this was lacking in the initial stages of the project. I feel proud of what my work represents for women.

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