Looking back at my experiences in constellation, it has had its ups and downs. There were some seminars that I found very helpful and beneficial for further works however there were some that I found weren’t that relevant to me or my course. A few of the seminars were going over existing knowledge – this made it very tedious to sit through, however on reflection, it was still good to refresh my memory.
One of the seminars that stood out to benefit my work was Caths Columns. I found this seminar to be informative, well organised, and I felt like it linked in with the Controversy assignment more obviously than the others, which made me feel a little more confident about making a start to the essay. We learnt how to use images/ objects in constellation, and how to analyse them. I also learnt about theoretically underpinning ideas, which is basically about providing lots of evidence for your analysis. Before this session, I didn’t realise quite how much evidence we had to show.
Another seminar that I felt helped me was the ‘What is a question’. I learnt that you can ask a lot more questions about something than I thought. I think, in the past, I would overlook a lot of possible questions because I’d think they were too obvious. However, this lesson pointed out that questioning as much as possible and pushing boundaries is important. I also learnt about the common abstractions within questioning and relevance, which I found to be very useful. Although, I didn’t find this lesson particularly thrilling, it was informative and it has helped with my depth of analysis.
There were a number of lectures that I struggled with, not because of the content but because I didn’t find it easy to understand the lecturer. Unfortunately this lead me to write unclear notes and therefore didn’t benefit me or keep me interested. However, there were some that I found to be a lot more interesting and easy for me to understand. I preferred the lectures to the seminar because I felt like I got more out of them on whole; but I also found the organisation of the seminars (having different times and room each week, often with large spaces in between) to be confusing and quite tedious.
Overall, I felt the whole first term experience of constellation to be quite scatty. I feel like a lot of it, although allowed me to see how other areas of art work, didn’t apply to me and my area (Fine Art) enough. I am glad I had that experience though because I think it was a good way to open my mind up to all the different aspects that I may not have been aware of but also those that needed refreshing, in terms of essay writing.
There were a few options that I favoured, but i chose to go with After Modernism. Not only did I find that Jon was one of the easiest, most approachable and clearest lecturers but I also felt that this option related to my chosen area the most – therefore I thought I would be more enthusiastic and it would be more beneficial for me in the future. I am very happy with this decision as I have enjoyed this terms constellation a lot more. Looking back, I have learnt a lot from this terms constellation and this was one of the things I would look forward to in the week. At the start of these lectures, I was quite nervous to speak however I realised how much it actually benefited me to speak and how much it helped my learning to discuss the art. It was very helpful to have the work on blackboard so organised too, there were occasions where I had to leave early due to illness or wasn’t able to make a session but I didn’t feel like I missed out on too much because I could access the PowerPoint and lecture notes. I feel confident about all the new knowledge I have acquired from these lectures, and have a nice basic understanding of the key movements through the transition between modernism and post modernism.
I thought the trips to London and Cardiff museum were very effective. It was a nice way to back up what we had learnt and also to really see and appreciate the different types of art. Sometimes it’s difficult to see what the art is really like from just a screen, it really put it into perspective by seeing it in a gallery. Also the Cardiff museum showed me a lot about what I have been overlooking in the past; the building structure and the monuments surrounding it. I found that very interesting to learn about all these things that are right in front of me but I had never questioned. Also it was nice to get out of the lecture room and to experience and meet new people. I felt like it was easier to get involved as well; as I am quite a shy person, it was nice to be in a less formal setting and I felt more comfortable to voice my opinions and ideas.
As I look through my notes, there wasn’t a lecture that I didn’t find interesting or beneficial. However, I have noticed that I didn’t do enough individual research on each area whilst it was fresh in the mind. I think in future I should follow up each lecture with further readings. Compared to first terms constellation, I was able to select the key points and explain them in my own words as opposed to trying to write down too much and missing important details. I have also noticed that I was able to use this terms notes and powerpoints a lot more in my essay. Although, I still don’t feel I completed the essay to my full potential. Unfortunately, I was lacking the motivation and ability to focus and apply myself to it.