Deborah Last: Art Practice: self evaluation. Year one MACAP 702
This year has been about discovery and change within my working practice. The storytelling narrative that existed in my work previously has become more activist in nature and is not just about the stories we tell about the landscape but has become one of seeing what we as humans have written on the landscape itself through pollution and littering. I have continued to be fascinated by the landscape lines that I was drawing before the start of the MA and these have at times been made up of plastic flotsam and jetsam. My work has continued to retain a strong aesthetic and I continue to investigate ways to challenge and inform this element of my work.
It was hugely helpful to present the work at the Art Exchange and then the following week for my Critique. Having a critique session with the artist Simon Pope help to continue this in relation to my working practice and ideas. I feel as if there are already years’ worth of suggestions and ideas to try and to test. I’m looking forward to some time over the summer months in which to continue to do this. I have hugely benefited from being able to use the different facilities within the art faculty and have spent a lot of time in the printmaking studios.
I have been very influenced by the writings of Suzi Gablik and this has encouraged me to look for a more dialogical practice. I have set up some collaborative projects which I hope to complete over the summer. I have very much enjoyed beginning to put my work into a critical framework though I feel this area of my study needs more time. I wish I could do these lectures again in the second year.
Aims and objectives
In my proposal aims and objectives I suggested that I would use sound and have not done so at all as this didn’t seem to fit with the route that I subsequently took though I do still think it might become part of my practice. I have however begun to consider what it means to be human within the landscape. This is where the work has grown from as I have become increasingly interested in the impact humans are having on the non-human world.
I am working towards collaborative and a multi disciplinary practice but this has not been fully realised as yet. I have in many respects been concentrating on the thinking and critical context of such a practice but now I need to get out there and do it.
I have spent the considerable part of this year taking apart my existing art practice and questioning the way I wish to proceed as an artist. I have become increasingly aware of the environmental impact of traditional art practices and have questioned my own practice within this context. Alongside this I have been able to learn new skills within the print making suit and this practice feels a like it has a lower impact as it is a paper practice on the whole. Within my own practice I am phasing out oil based printing products and do not use solvents at all. I have enjoyed turning the flotsam and jetsam from the beach into prints.
Personal development profile
I feel somewhat at a turning point in my practice as I begin to put a new practice together; this can and does feel at times somewhat daunting as I decide what to keep and what to change. I don’t really want to continue a practice that runs on several levels; I have done that for too many years. I am looking to find a practice that explores materials and methods but is perhaps much more coherent. I am still painting, but in a different way. I would like this whole practice to be my artistic profile, not lots of separate threads.
I have presented a proposal to the Burton Gallery Bideford but as yet this has not come to anything although there is a good deal of interest from them. They are currently going through considerable changes and not able to do anything at the moment.
I hope to be working with a school in the last few months of the summer term. There is a group of us who will be working with the Hamoeze Charity in Plymouth having gained funding from the University to do this.