Constellation PDP

This term has gone so quickly, it seems that it was only last week I was attending my first constellation lecture. I feel that constellation has been a real benefit alongside my practical modules, allowing me to engage thoroughly with many areas of art and design.

The large lectures during the first time were initially intimidating, the first time that I had been taught alongside so many other people.  It was, however, interesting to attend lectures on such a range of different topics, that otherwise I would never have endeavored to look into myself, for example Cath Davies’ lecture ‘Smells like teens spirit’ and Alexandros Kontogeorgakopoulos’ lecture on sound – understanding the depths that art can engage with technology was definitely insightful. The importance of cross-disciplinary practise is something that has been actively encouraged throughout the constellation module, and has motivated me to explore the use of art  to engage with endless other subject areas. I can now recognise that art does not need to be restricted to within a traditional art context, but can extend to robotics, science, popular culture, sound and multiple other areas. I found the study skills session to also be particularly beneficial, and from them my interest has been turned especially towards themes such as philosophy and phenomenology.

The baby cage essay was also a really beneficial challenge. What I found most difficult was the restriction of the word count, being someone who tends to ramble on a bit, I was forced to condense information into a concise essay. This helped me to concentrate on determining what information was necessary to formulate an argument, and to dismiss anything that did not directly help to answer the essay question. This was a good skill to learn.

The second term allowed us to opt for a specific set of lectures surrounding a specific topic. Having become interested in learning about art history and various art movements, I decided to put my name down for Jon Clarkson’s ‘After Modernism’ lectures. These have been incredibly beneficial in helping me to understand the evolution of art within the modernist era. Having not previously understood the depth in which art engaged with world developments, it was fascinating to see how artists and art theorists responded to the cultural, philosophical and technological developments of the 20th century. During 2nd term, we also had the opportunity to visit the Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London – looking at the minimalist collection there. It was interesting to consider the difference between looking at reproductions of these pieces in photographs, and the actual pieces within a gallery context. I think the most significant difference is the effect of the material on the way that the art piece is viewed. We were also taken to the National Museum of Wales, after discussing ‘The gallery and institutional critique’, this was so interesting – I’ve been to the museum many times before but never engaged with it so thoroughly. It was particularly interesting to hear about the architecture and symbols used in the building, I’d never really considered the relevance of the actual building style and its echoing of Greek architecture.

The exhaustive questioning of the role of art within a changing world was fascinating to reflect upon. It enabled me to consider how I could now relate my own art practise to realities within contemporary society. I feel that I have really benefited from all of the sessions throughout constellation, learning to thoroughly investigate new areas of art & design and ideas that I had never considered before.

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