I recall sitting down at my table with the assignment task in front of me thinking where do I start? What do I write? I spent the next couple of hours going through all my notes that I had put on to my blog picking up on what I had learned and enjoyed about the Visual Communication part of the course.  It all started to come back to me and I made a start, remembering that Duchamp’s ‘fountain’ had intrigued me and his contribution to the Dada movement made me look at his other work.  He had made some crude additions to the famous ‘Mona Lisa’ portrait, by adding a moustache and goatee beard.  I found my starting point.  When I had finished my essay, I sat back thinking I am really not sure if I am right or wrong, if I’ve waffled on too much, not said enough or even understood the question correctly.  However, I did think to myself, I wrote that piece, it came from me and I felt a moment of pride that I had at least managed to write the required amount of words.  I waited nervously for my feedback.

On receiving my Formative feedback from my tutor, I could have cried with happiness.  These words jumped out at me “Really productive and well illustrated study of the iconoclasm of Duchamp challenging traditions of art and gender representation”.  This meant I had understood the question.  I then read I had been “Brave and Admirable” in that I had “in some sense expressed an argument with some persuasive writing after initial description.  Image analysis is very productive as is your reflection on the ‘OCA’ style of learning’.  This really made me realize how much I have learned and enjoyed learning throughout this course, it means I am on the right track, with obvious areas to concentrate on to improve my writing techniques and researching skills, not to mention the dreaded referencing which I still don’t seem to have got the hang of, something I really must persevere with.

The following are excerpts from the feedback both on the Formative Feedback and the annotations on my essays.

Clear methodology of firstly describing the images allowing form and content to give rise to interpretation by linking external context factions into the mix.  See Barrett’s Interpreting Art as well as Criticising Photographs book for a thorough grounding in these principles.  In previous assignments and feedback I hadn’t taken on board fully the need to read the recommended Readings – this I know was a negative attitude thinking I could just find people to quote on the internet, whereas the recommended readings is where I should be getting the quotes from, not random people on the internet.  I have now either downloaded everything that has been recommended or read articles and books online.  A good learning curve.

Connections between the two images – add to this formal description the same critical context – so outline in the intro the position with regard to Renaissance/modernism/post modernism.  Duchamp being a modernist but the idea of context was the precursor to later post-modernist arguments.  Briefly define the terms.  It is clear I need to explain certain context in my opening statements, and assume the reader doesn’t know what a ‘modernist’ is or ‘post modernism’.

Iconic (‘the look of this iconic masterpiece’) might be good to define this in semiotic terms.  I’m not quite sure how to describe in semiotic terms so will investigate further.

Good reflections on the conventions and ‘rhetorical insights’ that you have picked up from the exercises.  Personally I would summarise the key debates – Not sure I understand what I need to do here, again need to analyse what I have done correctly and what I actually now need to do, tutor has suggested listing in bullet point list.

As previously Blog is well researched – you draw from this to influence your assignments as you have – but reference Referencing has to be one of my main areas of improvement, I need to address fully my findings, even links to my own work on my blog – my tutor outlined what I should write it out like; in-text: (Taylor, 2019).  Your bibliography: Taylor, J. (2019) (online)  Available at (accessed 19 Feb. 2019).

Main Gap, if any is that a lot of it is a list of internet URLs which is inviting the assessor to go and find out the context on your behalf.  It looks like I need to add the URL but provide a brief summary of what you will find if you click on the URL, don’t wait for the assessor to have to find out for themselves.

Find a more rigorous reference rather than Wikipedia to reinforce your point.  Yes, I have been guilty of that, I understand it is best to go to the recommend websites, books, journals, etc. to obtain quotes.

Avoid such loaded terms as ‘real reason’ as we can never know – the tutor recommended reading Walter Benjamin’s ‘The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’.  Really looking forward to reading this.

This is a great summary.  Apply this PEEL method in earlier statements which sometimes appear disjointed – I need to follow-up on the ‘Make a Point, Explain follow this with Examples and then Link to the next point.

Use an alphabetical (author) bibliography rather than piecemeal in themes – I really have to concentrate on getting the referencing and bibliography correct and realize it isn’t the amount of quotes but the quality and referencing of important arguments that is the key issue.

Perhaps when bringing in the ‘what’ you enjoyed stress ‘why” you enjoyed – ok this is interesting as to why I enjoyed the Dada Movement, a bullet list has been mentioned a few times so perhaps I can start with the Dad Movement.

Perhaps you could consider this subject in the photography assignment? The tutor was referring to the project of researching comic strips, I had found a profound strip called Charlie’s War which referred to The Battle of the Somme during the First World War.  I will certainly be looking into this subject further as it really did interest me and enjoyed researching the topic.  I need to look at the assignment to find out properly what is required and what I could write about.

Continue this link with exercises and assignments and recording this reflection in the learning log.  You have been very productive in this and its working very well. Was extremely happy to read this as I enjoy making the notes and uploading my photos onto my log.  I would like to spend some time eventually on a more sophisticated blog/website.  Perhaps in my next course, but it is encouraging to read that I am doing well so far.

Don’t presume the reader is fully aware of such concepts as modernism’ post-modernism – define your ‘take’ on it early on.  Sound advise and I will make sure I explain these terms in my opening statements.

My tutor mentioned my strengths as:

  • Description and semiotic analysis
  • Well researched
  • Well illustrated and use of connections with art movements

Areas for development

  • Define more critical terms.  Reference sources of some speculation
  • Reference rigorously including strict Harvard.
  • Broaden out to include contemporary influences

Overall I was really happy with the feedback I received, it was very encouraging and gave me advise on how I could improve my assignment, not by much but just some important aspects, especially the referencing.  I feel I have come a long way since the first assignment and feel I am learning so much, the feedback has certainly given me more confidence and now looking forward to working my way through Part 4, Photography.