Constellation this year has actually surprised me, I thought the 5-hour study sessions I had would be really long and hard for me to keep focused however it has been the opposite. By having these 5 hours long sessions it has allowed us to go in to more depth about the area of goddesses and monsters and we have been able to have debates and discussions in our class on the topic which has allowed me to understand the area a lot more. And I would even say that the 5 hour sessions felt like they went by quicker than the 2 hour ones we had last year therefore I believe this format has been very beneficial to my studies. Furthermore, the experience being in an interdisciplinary group has broadened my understanding of art and design and different concepts and theories within the art area.
Also by having interdisciplinary groups within the group debates and discussions it allows you to understand different areas of art and design perspectives and create more thoughts of your own from this. Therefore, I believe that is also really help me to develop more depth and understanding within my writing by having different perspectives. Through the past two years of my constellation studies I have had a few different lecturers with different delivery styles which has been helpful to learn as it has provided me with different ways in which I can understand text and analyse work. However, at the same time this did get a little bit confusing as to know which way is the right way to work, however I do understand that people all work in different ways. Furthermore, I believe that I would have benefited from maybe an hour session on how to properly reference a text, as we were shown how to reference within our essay however I was struggling a bit with the bibliography side. So, I went to academic skill and they helped me out however an hour session in level 4 would have been helpful to go over how to do it properly as it is quite scary when you have written an essay like that before.
However, I believe constellation has helped develop my academic skills and understanding through the use of a planning tool that’s called Cath’s columns analysis, it is a way that helps me to plan my essays, this method consists of three columns. This first column is describe, this is the column in which you describe all of the different element you can see in the image and be as detailed as you can to capture that element of the image. Once you have done that you have the second column which is analyse, for this column you talk about the different meanings to the element you have described, so if something is blue what does that suggest? That’s the sort of thing that needs to go in that column. Also, you have to make sure you go in depth in this part. The last column is the theory, we have this column to back up the point you have made in your analysis so it is not a sweeping statement you have made. For this column, you have to make sure you have theories from different places and academics, you can’t have all of your theory from only a few people. By doing Cath’s columns has allowed me to get a better understand of what I need to be putting in my essay and if I get stuck on writing my essay I know how to go about find out how to solve the problem now.
In addition, I believe the significant concepts and theories that have emerged in my columns analysis in the first term was the theories of the monstrous body, partially the idea of stitching. If something has been stitched in the skin it has marked the skin and damaged it therefore it can unravel and reveal what is underneath. This made me think about my own work in my practice as I stitch in to fabric it makes me question if whether by doing this am I now creating something monstrous as I am damaging the fabric. Therefore, questioning the way, I should be creating my work.
So, to carry on from this it made me question more about how I actually create my work and make me think about what I could explore more in my dissertation. As a designer, I constantly have to decide on how I should be creating things therefore it made me think about whether I should be making something that is handmade or digitally made, and whether there is anything that is lost when I make something that is digitally made. So, by being introduced to the ideas and theories of the monstrous body it made me think about the way I create work in my practise and made me think differently on how thing can be perceived.
Therefore, I think it has been useful in the analysis and writing about others work in constellation as it has made me think about how much detail I should be putting in to understanding the text I’m reading or in my case in my practice at the moment we have had a project that is really heavy in researching in to companies and designers. Therefore because of constellation I have been able to understand that there is hidden thing that designers put in to their work and I can now unpick the designers a lot more than I could before I had constellation.
In addition, if I was to reflect back to when I was in level 4 I would never have been thinking about applying what I have learnt in constellation in to my subject area. However, after this year with the depth of my understanding being much deeper due to the fact that we have had very intense study groups allowing me to be able to take in a lot more information, I can see how I could apply these academic theories to my practice so there is a lot more meaning and depth to my work. Furthermore, it has made me think about the way I understand texts and how I could be talking about designer and analysing them more. Also, constellation has made me think about in what context that I am creating my work can affect the way something is perceived. Overall this year’s constellation has been a true insight in to the way I look at my own work in my specialism area of textiles.