Writing about works of art can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to build up a body of knowledge from a standing start as well as link it — perhaps at the repeated behest of your tutor — to work that you’ve made. Finding a way to turn the experience of looking at something into meaningful text isn’t easy, but developing a way of clearly writing about the visual is an important skill to acquire when studying art.
We all use – and therefore copy – artworks to illustrate our own research, but as we have seen taking and using these images is complicated. In this post I am using the primary source of artworks – galleries – as a case study to examine the post-digital shift in how copyright is thought of and applied.
The question of copyright is one that has recently perplexed the student forum: a tangle of legal, moral and financial issues. Creative talent occupies quite a rare position in society, one deemed worthy of automatic protection against duplication and exploitation. In a series of blog posts I will attempt to clarify three related issues: the capture of images that may infringe copyright, the use of other people’s images as illustrations and the appropriation and altering of artworks to produce ‘new’ work.
To be a student is innately to find out more about a subject. To explore and investigate, to delve deeper and make connections between seemingly unrelated sources.
This is an important book for anyone who writes about art and its related disciplines. From Textile Foundations to Sustaining Your Practice as a textile student you are asked to comment on the work of others and your own creative output. This is a skill that does not necessarily come naturally, and many students struggle with it. It is therefore important to get some help. This book is different from the many “how to” writing books because it makes a strong case for knowing your subject and writing creatively about it.
And when someone in the future asks you to talk about sustaining your practice, you are OBVIOUSLY going to say YES, not just because you have anxiety issues about letting people down… but because you have made so much damn work you have no space in your house anymore: that is ‘sustained as hell!’
So your tutors are giving you good feedback, and you’re happy with what you’re writing, but what’s the next stage in sharing that with other people? People you don’t know, people whose opinions matter, people who are part of a wider community of poets? This post is about online presence; how you can use this as a tool to promote your work, how to make the most of the free tools that are out there and how to connect with your audience digitally.
So your tutors are giving you good feedback, and you’re happy with what you’re writing, but what’s the next stage in sharing that with other people? People you don’t know, people whose opinions matter, people who are part of a wider community of poets?
Over the course of doing a degree, there is a lot of opportunity for life to get in the way, and finding and keeping that motivation can be difficult, particularly over the 12 years that you might be with OCA.
So why might it benefit you to visit a degree show? All textiles students whether studying at a distance, like you, or in a ‘bricks and mortar’ university ought to take note of their contemporaries creative outcomes.
OCA tutor Guy Mankowski’s ten tips to (hopefully) improve your sentences.
Imagine if the next feedback from your tutor simply said ‘great’ or ‘I like it all, carry on’. I’m betting that you wouldn’t quite…