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MMT – Part 1 – Surface Distortion – Tutor Feedback

There’s so much to think about! Faye has given me some excellent pointers, I’ve certainly got plenty to do. I’m finding the MMT exercises pretty boring but I think that’s the idea; take a simple idea and push it to the limits.

I’m still finding this difficult to do, I find it really difficult to loosen up and just keep trying something over and over again. I do have a comfort zone and it’s a place I soon find myself hiding in. If I’m going to get really good at this I’ve got to push ideas further and further. I think sometimes I hold back from this because I know I’ve got to write something interesting about all these little bits but that’s just an excuse. 

So onwards and upwards and let’s see if I can push some boundaries. I’ve put the highlighting/underlining to show the comments I’ll be focusing on.

Overall Comments 

 Well done Sally- you have made a good start to the course and display good reflective skills and the ability to progress ideas.

I found that the project was relatively tentative, in that I feel that you would have benefitted further from a deeper investigation into materials and their possibilities. Each technique that you tried showed potential to be pushed further in exciting ways, and got particularly exciting when you began to combine materials and techniques (for example, stitching and pleating/cutting and layering/embossing and paint). I would have just liked to have seen more testing- perhaps in a methodical way- of the techniques. For example, you could have taken the pleating further by trying to pleat plastic (using heat too?), foil, thick cardboard, two materials sandwiched together…then maybe explored large and tiny pleats…and then looked at the different pleats you could try- not all pleats come in straight parallel lines. I think you should perhaps look into tessellating origami- I think that you would appreciate the patterns and lines created. I liked that you tried out irregular folding though, and the pleating of the images was beginning to get interesting when you created a more obscured or abstract image.

Perhaps in part two you should try out the same technique but challenge yourself to try as many different materials as you can get your hands on– sometimes the most exciting results come from trying out the unknown, or pushing the boundaries of a material to its limits.

It was great that you enthusiastically tried out all the different ideas and I could tell that you really engaged with the project, but I can’t help but wonder if you truly pushed yourself out of your comfort zone? Only as the whole body of work had a certain ‘style’ to it- on one hand that’s great as a practitioner, but on the other hand I urge you to really try out new aesthetics across this course so that you truly find yourself at the end.

The most successful pieces were those that looked a little bit different to the rest: the clean, cut geometric sheet; the layers of straight cut pattern; the combination of pleating and stitching and a couple of your abstract collage pieces. I also thought that some of your observational line drawings were really beautiful and showed a really sensitivity to line quality- more of these please!!

I suggest also that you experiment further with scale on the next project, don’t be afraid to go large for some experiments! Too often, students make the mistake of sticking to the same scale/style throughout a course, and they will never have truly made an informed decision about their own use of scale without having a direct comparison to reflect on. I get a lot of energy from your work and think you could really have fun with trying out more new approaches and setting more challenging goals!

I really liked where you started to experiment with contrasting materials too- this could be something that is pushed further throughout the course. I particularly liked the pleated piece with the direct contrast of matte paint and glossy paper.

It was great that you chose to explore colour with these techniques- but at times I felt that your palette became a little ‘muggy’- perhaps you would benefit from spending a day or so doing more work on just colour- creating sheets of collected colour/looking at colour theory/extracting colour from photographs? Also don’t underestimate the beauty of crisp white materials to really show off the texture of a manipulated surface.

You have an excellent connection with your research Sally, well done. You really tell me why you appreciate other work and why, and you show good reflective skills of your own practice too- keep this up and don’t be afraid to question your practice even deeper. I would suggest to continue to be continually looking at other practitioners, or things that inspire you regularly, and incorporate them into your personal work to keep it fresh and continually moving forward. Your initial brainstorms were great- I would maybe use them throughout your project too and not just at the start as they provide you with a good way to stop and reflect on your work to date and how to move it forwards (or which ideas to leave behind). Your blog is really great, keep using this as a learning and reflective tool- don’t forget you can always scan in and working lists/brainstorms etc. to comment on.

Overall, a good start and with more investigation into materials, more informed colour choices and experiments with scale, I am really excited for your next project!

Feedback on assignment

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

• Good range of approaches and willingness to jump in and try new ideas.

• Displays evidence of being able to progress an idea- just need to push the ideas even further through scale and material application.

• Idea of ‘contrasts’ and combining processes showed lots of potential for further investigation.

• Good to try out colour, but palette needs to be more informed.

• Avoid being too ‘comfortable’ and take risks.

• Be aware of things visually fighting with one another.



Demonstration of technical and Visual Skills, Demonstration of Creativity

• Good use of sketchbook as a learning tool.

• Don’t worry about trying to cram things into an area- for example your mini booklet of line drawings was too beautiful to be tucked away!

• Sketchbook shows a methodical approach to work that should definitely be built on in the next project.

• Good use of sketchbook- don’t be afraid to work out of it more so not to limit your scale choice.




Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis


• Excellent connection with contextual research.

• Try widen your search for contextual research- more gallery visits/archive visits/books to enhance your knowledge.

• Consider stopping to pause and reflect at more regular intervals throughout the project with a brainstorm/spider diagram.

• Don’t be afraid to question your practice even further!


Learning Logs or Blogs/Critical essays

Context, reflective thinking, critical thinking, analysis

• Excellent use of blog as a reflective tool.

• Consider uploading pictures of to do lists/spider diagrams etc. to reflect on.

• Reflect on this tutorial as soon as possible to help you make decisions for future work.



Suggested reading/viewing


These books are great to look through if you can access them at a local library?

Comme de Garcons did a collection campaign some years ago now using folded faces as the main focus: You’ll find more from digging around the web!

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