Thursday, 14 May 2015

Tutor Report MM Pt3






Tutor report


Student name        
Sylvia Philpot
Student number                    
Painting 2: Mixed Media
Assignment number           



Dear Sylvia


Thank you for your third Assignment


Overall Comments                                                                                                   

This is an improved assignment and you have taken my advice about making your journey more coherent and your self-reflection more explicit. I think you also need to stand back and look at the continuum and origins of appropriated and displaced images. You are correct in exploring the message related to political and social conditions but you should also recognize that Post Modernism is still harping back to the disruption in society through the ravages of two World Wars and the origins of appropriation and displacement from Dada, Cubism and Surrealism continue to underpin contemporary practice. I would suggest that your references to photography should also be strengthened and there is no harm in looking back to the work of John Heartfield or the emphasis on structure and spirituality that pervades David Bomberg’s work as well as more contemporary artists and photographers such as Tacita Dean.


Feedback on assignment

Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Quality of Outcome, Demonstration of Creativity

The work you have submitted for this assignment demonstrates competent technical and visual skills and there is a competent realization of ideas, presented well and showing judgement. On the whole the work is creative and there is evidence of risk taking.


If we start with your black and white studies that are really just preliminary studies for the first large painting but

Still show your thoughts and your workings.


I still find that there is rather too much visual information, which drowns the instinctive need of your viewer to find structure and coherence. Composition in the second study in particular is clumsy and rather obvious. However preliminary studies should be searching and should show that you are working out ideas.


The first large painting by contrast is probably the best image in this assignment and is more ordered in structure with a broad grid-like control of imagery. The frames are also not too rigid so that the eye explores and scans the surface and finds the traces of the journey narrative that your are describing. The overall impression is of more control and less cluttered in imagery. I think the idea of journey is working well and the limited colour sections are effective. I think that there are also contradictions here between the physical surface and illusion. The black tends to flatten the image so that we scan it horizontally from left to right yet we are supposed to be led out into space at the top right edge of the painting. I suspect that you had not taken this factor on board and that this is largely an intuitive accident.


The second painting about hanged teenagers in Pakistan does not have the impact or the contrasts of your first painting. We are again confronted by a certain amount of ‘visual fuss’, which interferes with what could have been an interesting structural image. The mixed images that you are pleased with actually interfere with the overall impact (or possible impact of this image). The image is dominated by the vertical strips of shredded paper that play across the surface of the support – and are in themselves, a good idea. However the horizontal broken counter lines are not strong enough to counter this and the eye is pulled down and out of the image. Nor is the colour contrast, which could have helped to define and contrast areas of importance on the image on the image. Background, middle ground and subject therefore collide and send out a confused message for your viewer. You need to stand back and look hard, re-emphasize areas in the structure, colour and imagery in order to make this an effective image.


The final blue painting works better in reproduction than in reality.

The blues are not the blues of water, which would have been more tonal and grey – so the viewer does not read the colours as that of water. The most interesting and dominating part of the painting is the ripples, which could also be vapor trails in the sky rather than water (and would make sense of the butterfly). Again, the opportunity to enhance structure has been lost by application and overworking detail. The structure could have been more of a vortex, which would have made sense of the figures being sucked into it. The shapes of the dresses on the figures are too strong and the shapes read as hands (the heads of the figures are not strong enough) to me, the viewer.



Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

                  Your sketchbook is good and shows your thinking and experiments. They demonstrate competent technical and visual skills and a reasonably effective grasp of ideas.

Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays


                        Your learning log is thorough and comprehensive but I made a point in my overview about continuum and context. Do look at other influences from photography –also do not discount earlier influences – look at how Malevich  (for example) drew inspiration from the poses of renaissance artists in his final portraits – also how Bomberg drew inspiration for his Toledo landscapes from El Greco –relate the contemporary to wider aspects of current affairs and the continuum of experience.


                  Suggested reading/viewing



I have suggested that you look at John Hartfield, David Bomberg (for structure, emotion, dynamics and spirituality) and Tacita Dean. Also take time out to listen to Neil Macgregor’s radio broadcasts on Germany and go to the Sigmar Polke and Anselm Kiefer exhibitions


Pointers for the next assignment

·        Continue to simplify content

·        Enhance and strengthen structure and shape

·        Concentrate more on visual impact and contrast

·        Fracturing images requires an awareness of intent and design

Please can you keep to the timescale I am giving you for your next assignment? I notice that we are falling behind a little.


An assignment that shows you are improving and developing a voice.



Yours sincerely,


Richard Liley


Tutor name:
Richard Liley
Next assignment due

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