Category Archives: Research and Reflection



Maiko Takeda – Atmospheric Collection

“Hundreds of plastic elements project from the surface of her millinery pieces.  They create a defined silhouette, while coloured tips create a floating outline of that silhouette”.

accessed July 9, 2019

Balenciaga’s Coat – Design

The design of the coat with its soft folds down the sleeves, appeared effortless, however to achieve this effect it was very skillful to avoid a bulky look.  The look of the coat was from the 1950’s and created a “luxurious statement”.

(accessed 7th July 2019)

Richard Ardavedon – Veruschka Dress by Bill Blass 1967

Drape and Movement – This photo captures the movement of textiles by the way the model has been photographed adding a kinetic energy to the garments

(accessed July 9 2019)



  • A Vogue Photographer – 163 Covers in all (Jones 2019)
  • Renowned for breakikng down the boundary between commercial and fine-art photography, working in a style of refined, elegant minimalism (Jones 2019)
  • Most famous cover Jean Patchet 1950.  Classical symmetry, black and white, netted cover on her face, sophisticated look, use of scarves, hat, extremely sharp using perhaps cotton fabric and

Jones, Rebecca – Article on Irving Penn (2019) can be found here (accessed July 14, 2019)


  • “she works in a very specific world: very intimate, full of softness and beauty like a dream world” (Attwood 2016)
  • Came to prominence in the 1980’s and 1990’s.  Her work is painterly and otherworldly (Attwood 2016)
  • Teamed up with NARS makeup to produce fashion photos on the theme ‘transparency’.
  • Pictures look to be of plastic material, see through, although tinged in white with dramatic red lipstick and nail polish.
  • Very dreamy image using plastic jewellery, bodice, face shield

Attwood, Naomi – The Independent newspaper online – article can be found here:


(accessed 14th July 2019)


How beautiful and chic and comfortable the girls looked in their slender floor-sweeping tweed coatdresses, soft and lithe as robes; in the high-waisted pants paired with abbreviated or slim-fitted versions of the signature CHANEL jacket; in the seductive evening dresses, concocted by the incomparable maîtrise of the flou ateliers. Walking with calm grace wearing flats, they were the epitome of modern, effortless, luxurious chic. Mademoiselle, with her formidable, implacable eye, would have certainly approved.”  (Cardini 2019)

Mademoiselle Chanel famous for her elegant, chic, luxurious, tweed jackets, dresses, bags and perfumes, to name but a few.  A lifetime ambition is to own one of these jackets, there is just something magical when you know it’s a ‘Chanel’.

Cardini, Tiziana – Fashion Writer – Article regarding the Fall-Winter 2019/2020 Chanel Haute Couture Show – can be found here: (accessed July 16, 2019)





  • intricate design details, colourful prints, fabrics or embellishments. We design in-house, source globally and ethically, and are dedicated to delivering keepsake quality.
  • It is a journey that started on a hippy commune in Ibiza, 1970, and finished with an overland trip east, through Afghanistan and India.
  • vibrant, colourful, hand-crafted artisan clothes
  •  beautiful, bohemian-inspired pieces with hand-printed, hand-woven and crochet design details
  • made with hand-loomed cotton and silk fabrics, organic vegetable dyes and artisan block-printing techniques.
  •  Indian villages using hand-loomed cotton fabrics, organic vegetable dyes and artisanal block-printing techniques
  • Women clothes, children clothes, fashion accessories, wedding outfits, homeware.

It is a brand that uses designs that are mostly of  distinctive, colourful and vibrant pattern and design.  The original designs began in Ibiza, 1970, and then Afghanistan and India using hand loomed cotton and silk fabrics using organic vegetable dyes and artisan block-printing techniques.  They have since progressed into homeware, such as throws, cushions and furniture using using designs from  woodblock-printing to intricate embroideries.   “Artisanal handcraft techniques make their mark throughout the range, lending a touch of bohemian glamour to any home”.

(accessed 14th July 2019)


‘The room on the woman’ and ‘the woman in the room’.  Unfortunately the link given was blocked on my internet (as it sometimes is in Saudi Arabia if there are models wearing unusual or see through garments), so I am not sure what the article was however, I further researched and came across an article in the Standard Newspaper, a London on line evening paper.  The article mentions this very same saying, as Katrnatzou had a show at the London Fashion Week in 2011 and 20 of her models were modeling items that were similar to that of domestic furnishings.  “Some wore skirts shaped as Victorian lampshades, others had necklines cut like curtain pelmets and all had an architectural graphic – a Palm Beach villa or grand hotel lobby – spliced vividly on to the very fabric of their garments. The fashion press went mad with delight”. (Corner 2011).

According to Japan Vogue “The collection, entitled Ceci n’est pas une chambre (This is not a room; very Magritte), was a surrealist masterpiece of trompe l’oeil and fantasy. Inspired by the fashion photo-graphy of Guy Bourdin and Helmut Newton, Katrantzou had, instead of putting the woman in the room, quite simply put the room on the woman. She knew that sending girls out dressed more World of Interiors than any fashion glossy was a risk, but she did it anyway. ‘It was on the verge of being too gimmicky and a total flop,’ she says. ‘I had the fear all the way through designing it that it was all too much. I remember telling my boyfriend, “If people actually like this it will give me a huge boost to trust my instincts, but if it’s a disaster I’m going have to start again.”

‘The room on the woman’ and ‘the woman in the room’.  It would seem the collection was about the models wearing the clothes that were inspired from objects you would find in a room such as a skirt shaped like a lampshape, or necklines that were shaped with material like a pelmet, this would then be referring to “The room on the woman”, instead of the other way round of the “woman in the room”.

Corner, Lena – The Standard Newspaper – website – article can be found here at: (accessed July 15, 2019) (accessed July 15, 2019) (accessed July 15, 2019)






I have received my feedback from my tutor and was overall very happy with the positive and constructive comments I received.  I had chosen my close reading on a poem that I had no idea was described by many as one of the most, if not the most important modernist poem of the twentieth century.  Once I had discovered this, I still continued with the close reading.  It was therefore really encouraging to read my tutor’s opening comments that is was “bold move” to do the close reading on the opening section of T.S. Eliot’s Wasteland.  He also mentioned that I had “got to grips with some close reading methodology and stylistics of literature and applied them well to this poem”.  It made me feel so good about what I had achieved and that I was actually understanding what I was studying.  One thing I noticeably forgot to do was add the actual part of the poem I was doing the close reading on ‘The Burial of the Dead’.  So note to myself is to make sure I follow the instructions to a T.  I will now add some of the comments below and add my own thoughts and reflections to them

I have made extensive notes in the documents you sent which include much improved referencing and organization.  This was very encouraging as I had mentioned to my tutor in my previous assignment that the referencing side of things concerned me, I felt that I had made improvement and this was confirmed.

Avoid too much speculation and support your ‘opinion with some references, citing reliable sources.  I realize that I can’t just use a random student on the internet or an unknown source, needs to be a more convincing and reliable quote.

Define in more detail some of the key concepts and themes that apply to the work – modernism and its ‘programme’ to disrupt formal devices in literature, art, photography etc is key here as is a foregrounding of form before you begin to describe the subject matter of the work.  I need to make sure I do this in future.

Do include the text in the essay to refer to and do back up some of your general. Noted I will make sure I add to my assignment.

In academic writing also, writing in the third person and considering the form of the work and showing that you understand the theme/discourse is all you need to do for a degree level.  Supplement the detailed description of literary elements with analysis which will move to a more persuasive writing style as you progress.  Not sure I quite understood the meaning of this, but hopefully I will as my studying progresses.

Define key terms that refer and are essential to this work ie if Modernism as a key ‘disruptive’ form is central to this poem (it is), then define it in both form & content int he opening of the essay and in your reflection.  This is context.  Use references (such as Lodge in – Readings).  Makes sense to do this so again will make a mental note to define key terms more.  Look more into the word and movement of Modernism

Some research on ‘intertextuality’ its definitions and application in art and literature would support the reading on Elliot.  See Lodge in Readings.  I will follow up on these additional reading suggestions – especial in Readings.


Personally, I would avoid your opinion and try to engage with the stylistics/linguistics of the poem and uncover how it communicats (this will be useful to consider as you move onto other mediums in later assignments). I will look at the additional reading list in order to understand the ‘stylistics/linguistics of a poem.

Get to grips with variations in Harvard referencing so as Shrestha (2013) comments … in this case (Author, date) in brackets works better.  Need to read and re read the Harvard referencing information to better understand so that it becomes second nature.

Avoid speculation, and outline the formal way the poem shows this mood.  I had used ‘I can only imagine’, so I will take note not to use this type of message.

Use references (such as Eliot) to allued to a real, historical figure such as Marie Louise Elizabeth Mendel also the cousin of Archduke Rudolph, the Crown Prince.  Strangely enough I was going to reference further but wasn’t sure at the time, so will make note for the future.

Introduce this theme of time signature in the introduction with some references see Joyce and David Lodge ‘intertextuality’ in Readings.   Further studying required in the additional reading list.

Qualify some of the passages in this reflection.  So, say what these skills are specifically.  I had mentioned poems that I had never thought of looking at before, so I need to mention which ones they are.

Reference this.  Is it in the learning log? then link reference here.  I had made up a small poem as suggested in one of the exercises and mentioned it in my reflection.  My tutor is suggesting I reference it here.  I’ve made a note to include it.

Could you give a reference to a text that summarises this? Dean and Miller? I had said that I was realizing that Time and Place was very significant in all aspects of art, but I didn’t give any examples.  I will investigate what makes me realize this and make some quotes.

Define this in the intro to the essay.  Modernist was the word I used and I now realize with all the feedback that I need to apply this in the introduction of any essay.

It’s productive.  You can apply similar stylistic readings when it comes to visual communication and photography.  In my closing paragraph I said that this whole learning experience in part 2 Creative Reading will ‘help me through the next stages of this course’.  It would appear I will be using the same tools even in visual communication and photography, am really looking forward to it.

It was good to go through my feedback again and highlight some of the main comments I received, in summary it looks like I’m doing ok and the main thing is I am learning so much and keep gaining more confidence as each Project is completed.  Creative Reading is different to what I was expecting, I had thought it would have been more about my own creative writing style, it has therefore been such a huge learning curve.  It has made me discover a much deeper understanding for what makes an exciting fiction book or poem.  I can see that there is a lot to learn and considering this is one of the routes I want to take it has made me think a little more about which two routes I would like to follow, as I had thoroughly enjoyed Contemporary Art, it was much more visual, however Creative Writing is where my passion lies.  I am looking forward to my next learning experience of Visual Communications, I am finding the way the course is structured is just so clever, how it makes you research and learn, I am really enjoying the whole learning experience.




When I first received my feedback for Assignment 1, I have to admit I was a bit confused and perhaps, initially, a little disappointed.  However, like some of the academic essays I have been reading, it took me two or three reads to then understand what where my strengths and weaknesses and what I needed to do in order to rectify my assignment and to work on improving certain areas of my learning, which I have listed below along with the ‘positives’ of my assignment feedback   The third time I read my feedback I highlighted all the positives, of which there were many and yet the first time I read it I hadn’t seen them.  I now see that having a professional critique of your work is extremely important and am very grateful for the very positive and helpful advice that I received from my tutor.  Here are a few some of my ‘positives’:

  • A well organised  initial submission (labeled files and link to blog clearly shown). – I was pleased this was noted, I am quite organised, being a personal assistant has trained me to keep things in order.
  • Some really useful points on definitions of art (mainly in its affective ie emotional response)  – I really enjoyed finding out what new words meant in the art world., however I now need to consider the more conceptual and intellectual effect rather than emotional.
  • Some nice expression in your writing and the leading in for the reader – Just seeing this makes me feel I’m doing ok and gives me the inspiration to continue
  • “I don’t know if I am doing any of this right” You’re reflecting on your research so this is right – Again, it’s just great to actually be told that I am doing it right, at least the reflecting side of things, I’m aware there is so much room for improvement but at least on the right track.
  • Nice summarising of some academic points – Such a positive thing for me to know as I have enjoyed finding out about artists and their work and summarising my findings, again I will keep learning and achieve this more affectively.
  • There is some good evidence that you have read critics’ reviews and used the reviews to either contrast with or support your own interpretation of and response to the piece.  –  This is referring to my blog whereby I have linked my research to the various critics reviews and then enjoyed putting my own view forward, I do need to learn the correct referencing though.
  • My Blog: It’s good – I’m very happy with that comment, as I have thoroughly enjoyed documenting my progress, I just need to understand that these are not notes like I write in my hard copy notebook for my own personal viewing and as advised to perhaps write in the third person, although I would find that difficult when I’m writing my own personal notes, so needs further thought.

Overall, I was extremely happy with the strengths that were highlighted and it has given me the confidence to continue and to keep learning and take the advice given.  Areas for development were:

  • Referencing: Work on rigorous referencing using Harvard – I was given an extremely helpful link that clearly states the Harvard referencing way, I have read through the document and highlighted the references commonly used like websites, books and journals.  I need to concentrate on this, as I knew this was something I was struggling with, had very helpful comments from the tutor to rectify this.
  • The beginnings of some useful description of work and making links with others, but it would be useful to see more analysis and some further contextual readings and summaries of this reading in a blog or log – Noted and need to make sure I do this, but still positive comments at the beginning.
  • I would consider making a menu (if possible) of the assignments at the top rather than embedded in the blog to make it easier to navigate – I have to admit this was something I had considered but played it safe and continued with the initial set up.  I have since added a menu tab for the Assignments.
  • Glossary is good, consider making this more critical for example Still life – painting of inanimate objects I would add that the genre is concerned with ‘vanitas’.  I had been using various dictionary answers for my glossary, but I understand it is better to use such websites as ‘The Tate’ or ‘O’Sullivan’ for my complex art terms.
  • Avoid generalised assumptions and back up your interpretations (which are fine) with reference and cite examples – Noted, need to really concentrate on referencing.
  • Question what exactly? – This referred to Part A of the assignment in which I had stated ‘to make you Question’ – so I need to watch out and not make statements like this or to at least say what I was making you question.
  • My Blog – A little hard to navigate – As recommended, I have now made a menu tab containing the assignment instead of down the side and part of the blog.
  • It’s useful to “tell the reader what you are going to tell them” but avoid too much waffle.  I’d rather read straight into your definitions in the intro so introduce the ideas you are talking about rather than say you are going to talk about them – Noted, especially about the waffle bit, something I tend to do.

The feedback I received has given me the confidence to continue in a positive and reflective manner.  I will work on the improvements as advised and follow-up on the suggested reading list.  I feel I need to gain a better understanding of academic writing and glad of the additional links given by my tutor to read up on various  recommend essays.  As recommended I have now familiarised myself with modernist/postmodernist definitions and strategies and with the referencing system for written work using the Harvard Referencing.


Hazel Smith’s essay – ‘Creative Writing and New Media’ The Cambridge Companion to Creative Writing

This is a very interesting and thought provoking essay with lots of references to various writers and their creative writing ideas.  To me Creative Writing has always been writing stories, travel writing, journalism, poetry and blogging.  This essay gives creative writing a whole new meaning, back to the question ‘Is it Art’.  The types of computer games available have been written as stories with interactive problems to be solved such as Jon Ingold’s All Roads.   Dreamlife of Letters by Brian Kim is a video clip of a lot of letters coming together and disappearing, the letters are scattered rather than one after the other, some coming and going faster than others.  This would not be creative writing as I once thought it was.  This is new media creative writing.  Almost like contemporary  art, and the installations that used text in their artwork.  I found George Perec’s book ‘A Void’to be more along the likes of creative writing.  It is a book that has been written without the letter ‘e’.  It made me think how was that possible and that I found myself wanting to perhaps try to write a poem without the letter e, this I thought was interesting.

I managed to find a website that had The Reader’s Project by Daniel howe and John Cayley and I just didn’t get it at all and would need a lot more time to see what this is about.  It looks to me a very complicated way of reading, using mathematical procedures to be able to read the next word, I think!  Text generation I believe is what it is known as but again just seems too complicated and I don’t understand the concept.

I quite liked that ide of Brad Bouse and Amaranth Borsuk’s Between Page and Screen.  You almost think it’s like being a spy, you can’t read the book unless you have a computer as you have to hold the book to a screen and then the computer reads the shapes in the book and words are produced on-screen ‘augmented reality’.  Not sure what it’s use would be except as ‘art’ or for some kind of secret coded messages to be read.  I can see this as being creative writing.

From the various writers, inventors, creators – I did find a new way of looking at Creative Writing and realising that perhaps it isn’t as I first thought.  New Media is changing how we see things, the digital revolution has certainly added a whole new dimension to writing with the creations of blogs and websites, but also I hadn’t though of games being stories that need to be written, online puzzles, magazines and installations or art works incorporating text in galleries being classed as Creative Writing, it certainly opens up a new concept and new challenges for ‘the writer’.


I am really excited to start Part 2, Creative Reading, having given myself a couple of days off after sending in my Assignment for Part 1.  I have looked back on my Self Assessment and thought I would just list a few of the things I said I would like to improve on and think how I am going to do that, so that I can perhaps start to put things into place as I begin Part 2.   In order to action these things I’ve also realized I need to be a bit more organized and want to add this to my list too.

Be more organized: Buy a folder and add dividers put things in there like the reference guide, Academic writing guide, Assignments.

Label photos correctly: I need to make sure I label all photos correctly either by using the blog software making sure I reference the photographer and its title and date and where obtained from, and/or a link to the website.  Also to make sure I label my own photos

Referencing: I need to make sure I take down the details of author/photographer, title, date and page number if applicable.  Read up on referencing possibly download software that has been recommended

Academic Essay writing:  I have since downloaded an article on Academic Essay Writing from the OCA website, to read and file for future reference.

Useful Links: I need to make a new menu on my blog for useful links and add them straight away.  I meant to do this in Part 1 and already know it would be a task to now go back and find those links, so something that needs to be done straight away.

Reading Lists: Going forward, make sure I look at the recommended reading lists and either buy or download ones that look to be of real use so I have them ready at the start of the course.

Forums and ‘hang outs’: make time to join at least one hang out and send a query or help someone at least once a week in the forums.

Researching: Find out more about researching, any books or online help


I have just found a presentation on the OCA website on Research which was easy to follow and have thought I will share this with one of the forums

Have you researched anything recently: yes – Contemporary Art in Saudi Arabia

What: Contemporary Art

Where: Saudi Arabia

How: Search engine, galleries, exhibitions

Why: Interest, exercises in Contemporary Art – Part 1

Who: Abdulnasser Gharem – Contemporary Artist

Research: “The systematic investigation into the study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions” Oxford English Dictionary.

  • Research helps you formulate ideas
  • Why Research? – Inspiration, Knowledge, Concept development

Do you have an enquiring mind? – 

Ask Questions, think about bigger picture, get excited about making new connections, have imagination – Yes!

Primary – My own Sketches, drawings, photos

Secondary – material I find, other people’s sketches, drawings, photos

Primary – Galleries, Museums

Secondary – other peoples, work from print, online, books, journals

Buzan iMind map – mind mapping application









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

King Abdulaziz World Cultural Centre – photos courtesy of Snøhetta

Al Saraat (The Path) 2007 – photo courtesy of Edge of Arabia Exhibition

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.


This project was thoroughly enjoyable, even though it tested me on my research skills where I got a little impatient when I couldn’t find what I was looking for, or hadn’t taken the time to work out how a website worked properly.  The OCA library was a great find, I knew it was there but the first time I tried to use it, something happened and I couldn’t search for anything, not sure what was wrong.  However, I went back to it later and found it to be extremely easy to find what I was looking for and succeeded in finding chapter 2 of Art History: The basics (p.33).   This was additional ‘more in-depth’ reading in preparation for Exercise 2.  I did try reading this piece but found in difficult to take it all in.  I’ve printed it off and will go back to it as I feel it must be important for it to be mentioned.  One for my ‘to do’ list.  I’ve also found The Tate on-line gallery a great website, I’ve been able to locate artists and their work and the meaning of words that I don’t understand.  It is easy to navigate and just full of knowledge of the art world.   On adding a Glossary menu to my website I can easily add words to it for ease of reference.  Quite pleased that I have discovered how to do the menu tabs and now contemplating others like, Artists and their work and a photo gallery of my own photos in relation to Art.

When I tried the link to the Longplayer by Jem Finer (2009) it didn’t work, however I went to you tube directly and did a search and found what looked to be the video that we were requested to listen to and watch.  What was interesting was there were other videos before and after this that showed videos on Jem Finer and other recordings of the Longplayer, I felt it was further research and another in site into the music.  It was amazing to find out that a person wanted to provide a piece of music that would be played in full in 1,000 years time … of course in order to play a piece of music that is 1,000 years long will take another 1,000 years to get to the end of it, if my understanding is correct.  I enjoyed doing the research on this piece and do find the significant link to time and place as very important and have become very excited by the whole aspect of time in relation to art.

The  video of Sam Taylor-wood’s Still Life: 2001 took me by surprise, literally.  I was watching and watching with nothing happening, I was slow to realize that something was happening, just very slowly.  I hope my understanding is correct in that it was about mortality versus immortality.  It really makes you think about things, a little depressingly unfortunately but it is just so fascinating that artists look at time in such an important way.  it made me think of my own photos and I came across one I took at a brunch last year, I loved the colours and the assortment of food, all different cheeses, fruit and biscuits and a silver knife.  It was almost like a coincidence as now I look at this photo and I think of the mortality of the knife and immortality of the food, how it would decay and rot, how the cheese would turn mouldy and the bright fruit turn to grey, black and brown.  The knife would remain the same.

On looking back over my notes and the exercises I realize that perhaps I haven’t made many, if any quotes, and I’m not sure I have referenced things as I should, so another few things to add to my list of ‘to do’s, is to look again at the preferred referencing method and the same for quotes.  Project 2 has really opened my eyes to a whole new outlook to paintings, music and photos, to realise that time is linked to so much of the art world is amazing.   I just hope that my interpretation of what I am learning is how it should be.   I joined one of the hang out forums last week, it was initially set up for those studying abroad, but from what I understand UK students are also in the group, it was good to see other students on the same degree, all trying to help.  I didn’t really say much, in fact i didn’t saying anything, I just needed to see the lay of the land so to speak, but will give it another go.  I was also awarded a badge for being best newcomer for using the OCA forums, so that’s a good start.

I feel on reflection, I have learned so much already and am very excited to now move on to project 3.


I have lived and worked in Saudi Arabia for eight years and I have to admit have not done much in the way of exploring the country or even the region of this fascinating country, I did a little in the beginning but I hope that is all about to change with my new interest in art.  Starting this course has been the best thing I’ve done in a long time, it has given me back my energy to learn and be enthralled at what goes on in the mind of other like-minded people.  I am sure there is an artist in everybody, same as a writer or photographer it’s just whether or not your willing to explore your capabilities, imagination or talent you have.  I hope to now look out for more trips available to pursue my love of photography and writing.  However, there has been a new revelation, my love of Art and the question ‘What is Art’ is constantly on my mind, I’m asking friends and family ‘What is Art’ and it is amazing the replies I am receiving, I just love it.  I am really surprised at how interesting I am finding the whole aspect of art and what it means.  I am eager to find out more about the artists I’ve heard of but never really paid too much interest too.  I love that I’m choosing different art over another, meaning I like a certain style or at least I thought I did.  I have always tried to take photos that are a bit quirky or show a different angle to the country or place I’m visiting, so I believe I have a certain style when it comes to photography, but now I’m wondering what kind of painter I would be, it really has opened up my eyes.  I’ve also learned that the title can be just as important as the art piece, Hirst’s The physical impossibility of death in the mind of someone living is testament to that, from my first impression of just a picture of a shark that was laughing to actually what it was in the gallery and the possible meaning behind the art piece has just blown my mind.  Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ has also made me query ‘What is Art’ how can a man’s urinal be art? Then of course who decide’s what is Art, David Hensel’s laughing head-piece was taken apart, the head returned to him and the plinth it was on was kept and displayed.  Who decided the plinth was art?  It really is all quite fascinating and I am enjoying every aspect of it.

Back to my starting point, about living in Saudi Arabia, I went a bit off track but I just wanted to add I now have the privilege of working for a company that has built one of the biggest art centres in the Middle East, and is literally ten minutes away.  I visited it for the first time at the weekend and was in awe.  It is beautiful and contains, a massive theatre, museum, library, workshops, restaurant and shop.  I can’t believe what they have on offer and will now be able to visit, I am hoping to learn about the Arab influence in art and will be taking another visit next weekend and hopefully see one of the cinema showings of Van Gough’s work.  The outside of the building can be seen from afar and is very impressive and I want to learn more about the artist/architecture of the building, I have to admit I was a little surprised at the phallic like image it portrays in such a prohibited country, again, needs a further investigation.

My final reflection on part 1 is the technical and note taking side of things and what I have learned, and that was to persevere.  I had got quite frustrated with how the blog worked in trying to set up the sections for the blog posts to go into, but I knew if I could get it right in the beginning then I could concentrate on the studying, I am so glad I did.   I also realised I love my physical notebook, I always have done, I actually collect them as a hobby, and feel happiest with having one with me.  What I’m finding myself doing is keeping my notebook with me and then transferring the majority of the notes to my blog, this seems to be working for me.  Sometimes my notes do feel a bit scrambled and I need to work on that, get a bit of confidence in what I need to digest as important.  Overall though I feel really happy right now I am so glad I have started this course, I am learning a whole new aspect in art, I am doing what I love which is writing and incorporating a few of my own photos along the way to brighten my blog.   The journey has only just begun but loving every second of it so far (apart from the technical side of the blog!).fullsizeoutput_1fe4



Talk about frustration, I have been wanting to type up my notes for Exercise 3, however I was determined to get to grips with the set up of the blog, I had initially given it a go with my own theme but didn’t seem to get it, so changed it (as I should have done right at the beginning) to the theme chosen by OCA.  Lesson learned, do as instructed to begin with! So I changed it to Twenty Twelve theme, but I still couldn’t get it and I had already posted four posts with tag lines that I had no idea what they were for and a few category choices that I had guessed at previously and somehow got them on my home page.  So I had to strip back to the beginning and over two days I actually think I’ve finally got it, but blimey did that test my patience, and I’m a pretty patient person.  It took rereading the instructions several times before each step sunk in.  I thought all the categories would list immediately on the home page, but they don’t list until you have actually ticked a blog in that category.  Hard to explain but I hope anyone reading this will be feeling my pain, unless you are a wizard at doing blogs.  However, going forward I’m feeling super calm, on reflection – rule number one, I should have followed the OCA notes properly on setting up the blog using the theme advised, rule number two basically should have followed rule one!  Think I am going to have a little break now and then get back to adding my notes for Exercise 3 so I can then get back to the business of studying.  To be honest pretty pleased with myself now thatI know what I’m doing and persevered until I got it right, so just remember to ask for help (I did) if you get stuck with the technical side of things, because sometimes you just can’t see the wood for the trees.


Ok this is it, Part 1 and having read the introduction I am already thinking about ‘What is Art’, I’ve never really questioned it before but already I am eager to read on and do the exercises that I have briefly read through.  I am finding that already I have become more inquisitive of The Arts and particularly contemporary art, something I would never have thought of digging deeper, and yet there I was last night, earphones on listening to “I found myself in the Art World” with Grayson Perry, Reith Lecture 1, BBC, 2013 – Playing to the Gallery.  This was part 4 of a series of 4 lectures that he gave to a London University and I found it incredibly interesting.  He is described to be wearing a very colourful clown outfit – Orange, Green and purple  and had long coloured eyelashes so I could only imagine quite a flamboyant character striding across the stage as he gave the students an insite into his thoughts of What is Art.  He gave a brief history of how at the age of 9 he was in the classroom making a clay object, dressed in a plastic overall with button studs in the company of a pretty teacher, this being his excuse for his future clay pieces of a sexual nature.  Interesting I thought.  He mentioned helping out at a childrens Art Room where these particul children had difficulties of one form or another, or had traumer in their lives, they are encouraged to paint or make things to help them with their difficulties. he asked one child “what does an artist do?”, “they notice things” he said.

As the lecture went on I did feel a little sorry for the students in the audience as he started to put a gloomy picture on being or becoming an artist, basically saying there was no money in it, and that you would have to fight against the prejudice of it “not being a proper job” and that the only people who made money where those artists with “napkin syndrom” which I understood to be a famous artist eating in a restaurant and only has to write on a napkin and it becomes hot property selling for a fortune.  He explained he didn’t start to make money until he was 38, which again I felt was great for saying it’s never to late, so keep at it, but just felt more encouragement would have been helpful to the students.  I’m not saying to fill them with ideas of granduer but everyone has to believe that anything is possible.  He is obviously passionate about Art and it was a really interesting insite into how his mind works and that he hoped by listening we would be a littled smarter, braver and fonder entering the art world.  I feel a need now to research more into famous artists like Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Vincent Van Gogh, I know who they are and an idea of their paintings, but now I want to know more.