I can’t believe that I have completed Part 1 – Contemporary Art with only the Assignment to do. I say only but what I mean is the journey to this point has just been incredible. I have absolutely loved it. Each day I have got excited as to who or what I will discover next, my eyes have been opened to Contemporary Art. So much so, that I am now contemplating this route instead of Creative Writing, which was my first choice along with Photography. I felt in Project 3 I was learning more about researching and finding different exhibitions, galleries, Art magazines, personal blogs and websites relating to artists, this was besides the OCA website and the online libraries available. It really has been a fascinating and educational learning curve.
I found that I was able to break down complicated essays by reading them, not just once, but at least 3 or 4 times. The first time, would be skimming through to see what the article was about, second time I would highlight anything that would jump out at me, like quotes, artists names and general interest, third time I would use a different highlighter and look for words I didn’t understand and add them to my glossary. I would then analyse and make notes of just those sections I had highlighted, which game me a better understanding of what I was reading. This seemed to work for me.
Time and Place were very prevalent and I was starting to see more clearly the meaning of these two elements throughout Contemporary Art, sometimes I didn’t get it, but is was certainly becoming clearer. I also started to learn the different Art movements and types of Art like ‘Conceptual Art’ and ‘Installation Art’.
I have started to realize the importance of labeling photos used from other sources, and discovered how to do this properly which makes the reference look more professional, and realizing how important it is, this hadn’t been a priority before as I just wanted to be able to type up my notes and put pictures on my blog. What I realize now is even my own photos should be labeled, not that anyone would want to use them, but it does make me realize the importance of referencing photos used that are other peoples.
I have learned new words that I have never even seen before and words that I thought I knew the meaning of but actually don’t. I set up a menu tab on my blog and have added these words as I go along under each alphabet letter, going forward I will put them in alphabetical order, minor detail, but just that I love being able to refer back to them and as the course continues it is best to go as I mean to go on. I had also thought of adding an Artists tab to be able to add a list of all the artists I have come across, due to time constraints I haven’t done this but may still do. What I have done as I have gone along is when I’ve mentioned an artist or their work I have provided links to their website or blog or to the actual artwork.
By adding my own photos to the blog posts I was trying to create some of my own creativity by adding photos that I thought related to the exercise in some way, not always but just sometimes, it helped me get used to adding things to the blog and learning how to label them, something I know I need to go back on when I have time as I only just started to do this when I found out how. I have really enjoyed adding my notes to the blog, although I also keep a hard copy notebook as I find it easier to write things down first adding drawings or photos as I go along and then copy the notes in more detail on the blog, this seems to be working for me.
I really enjoyed visiting the new Abdulaziz World Cultural Centre and discovering more about the building itself, there was far more to this than when you first see it from a distance, I researched the company that designed and built it, finding out that parts of the building, above and below ground meant Past, future and present – ‘Time’ and the landscape it was built on was a particularly important ‘place’ , to serve both the local community and international visitors. It is an incredible site-specific art building.
By doing the exercises I discovered more about the Saudi Arabian Art scene, something I didn’t even know existed, up until ten years ago it was virtually non existent it would seem, but now artists like Abdulnasser Gharem, have helped to create an Art Scene that is helping Saudi artists on to the International platform, but also to help younger people be involved in something other than crime or worse, terrorist acts. I have found a lot of information on him via interviews on you tube, online exhibitions and galleries, newspaper and magazine articles, such an incredible artist. I have also researched many of the other artists suggested
in the exercises and have become more and more intrigued and fascinated by Contemporary Art.
It really has been thoroughly enjoyable to learn about Installation art and conceptual art in this last section and the idea of text playing a major part in both these types of art really intrigued me. I thought it was amazing to see the difference in my first reaction to the installation art piece A Place Beyond Belief by Nathan Coley. My initial thought was it must be religious, it’s ‘place’ was by a church of some kind, and hinting possibly of a place that’s beyond belief ie heaven. Little did I know the story behind these words, you can only find this information by looking it up, there is nothing to indicate that it relates to the aftermath of 9/11 and religion, particularly racist views.
Overall my reflection of this last project and the course itself has been of real enjoyment, I feel my mind is active again and learning new skills regarding note taking, research, even technical, not to mention just the joy of writing to the point I just want to keep writing and writing about Art and what I am discovering. What I feel I need to learn more about is referencing and what to quote or not to quote. I would like to get more involved in some of the ‘hang outs’ or forums to get student views and help, as to be honest I don’t know if I am doing any of this right, I’m just going with the flow and doing the exercises and writing my notes. What I do know is I’m learning and I am loving that, I’m loving learning more about Saudi Arabia, better late than never and eager to discover new places to visit and find out more about the art scene. This really has taught me so much just in this first part, it will be amazing to read my blog at the end of the full course because I can feel the difference just after Part 1. Can’t wait to start Part 2 …. Assignment first though.