Constellation – Term 1

The first term of Constellation lectures have been interesting, providing information that I can take and apply to my own practise. As well as this, it has offered me insight into other specialisation pathways and subject areas that I knew nothing about before. The following lectures were of particular interest to me:

  • “The Sensorial Object – Curation of an exhibition: A makers perspective” with Dr Natasha Mayo  

This lecture focused on the necessary considerations when curating an exhibition and the importance of the material values of objects in an exhibition. It gave insight into the process of putting an exhibition in place, for example the relationship between the subject matter and the venue . As well as a brief overview of the procedure of putting an exhibition in place, the lecture also looked at the content of the exhibition, ‘the sensorial object’  – something which actually coincided with my project brief somewhat The welsh artist Ainsley Hillard came up in the lecture and is someone that I would like to research further.

  • “Teenage Kicks – Cultural Approaches to Dr Martens Boots” with Cath Davies

This was the first in a set of lectures investigating ‘meaning’. Its intention was to investigate the importance of the cultural connotations of objects – highlighting the fact that all objects have symbolic meanings, embedded in their history, production and function. It was a lecture that I thoroughly enjoyed, a somewhat enlightening one that enabled me to begin to understand the important messages that a simple objects can generate. This particular lecture was highlighting the history of the ‘Doc Martin’ boot, tracking their change in status since their creation. The lecture investigated the importance of historical narrative, and how this impacts the statement that is made when wearing them.

  • “The Literal and the Phenomenal in Art and Design” with Dr Mahnaz Shah

This lecture was really interesting and focused on limits, boundaries and freeing our thinking. It prompted us to reconsider what we consider to be literal and phenomenal – for example questioning our ability to ever be true to the literal, as can be seen by our use of metaphorical language such as the use of ‘huge’, ‘possible’ and other words that engage in our imagination. The lecture encouraged us to think about thinking itself, and only when we philosophize and dwell on our world can we really start to conceptualise effectively in our practises, the best thing we can do is to get rid of the boundaries.

“Thought can only advance by freeing itself from the shackles of its own subjective boundaries” – Immanuel Kant (1724-1804)


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