The Art of Reflection

So, I have made it through my first two weeks at University. An influx of inductions and information soon to become the backbone of the year to come introducing us to iterative cycles of learning and critical reflection.

Week one ended on a high wandering the streets of the Jewellery Quarter. We were asked to make 3 observational sketches and 3 photographs whilst engaging in how our own observations differ when documenting in these contrasting mediums.

I know the Jewellery Quarter well, it’s been my home in one way or another, living, working and socialising for the past 12 years. It’s changed and developed so much, but still my favourite corners are those that harbour the past and embody the manufacturing that has gone before.

Looking at my observations, I am intrigued by my analysis of my surroundings. How accurate am I? Am I really looking with a fresh pair of eyes? Later discussions with my classmates note how drawing can inspire imaginative thought and personal interpretation. We are reminded that photography too can be selective – we compose and frame our image and of course nowadays we so readily have the option to digitally manipulate.

The afternoon followed with a visit to the Ikon gallery with the primary aim to view and discuss the Sofia Hulten exhibition, Here’s the Answer, What’s the Question? Hulten’s work was new to me and very much in contrast to my own train of thought. In shredding and grinding and recasting objects back into their former state, she made me question the history, was this important and where does value lie?

In Pattern Recognition, the power of repetition in particular left me with the feeling that Hulten believes that many questions are open ended, with many possible answers. In this I realise how drawn I am to art which incorporates repetition. Overridingly what I took away from the day’s activities was a need to slow down, engage and look again with a fresh pair of eyes.

The second week closed with an attempt at Art Speed Dating – A 2 min presentation reflecting on your working progress, repeated with each classmate and vice versa, so 24 times to be precise! Utterly daunting to begin with but hugely insightful in the clarification of my own thoughts.

What, so what, what’s next eh?!

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