THINGS BEHIND THE SUN – Reflection

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Trip To Pembrokeshire

For me this project allowed me to step back into a familiar landscape similar to my home in Northern Ireland, after having spent a few weeks in an urban environment again I found it really refreshing to return to the countryside / the sea for a few days. Initially I really struggled with the drawing tasks set during the time, especially the 100 drawings, but once I got into the hang of it, I actually really enjoyed having to look around and find new and interesting things to draw. One main theme which came from these drawings was grass, I had always known I was drawn to grass for some reason but it became quite obsessive during these drawings. When I was analysing these drawings back in the studios I was really surprised by the way I could remember where I was and what was going on when I was doing each of the drawings – how drawings/imagery can unlock memories. So, I feel like I have reestablished a value for drawing and its importance in recording images, that they can be used as a route to something else. but that they themselves can also be enough to be a finished work. I think, like many people, I had got into the habit of drawing from photographs etc. which is OK, but I realise that there is so much which can only be seen when you are actually out in the middle of what you want to draw.

I also really appreciated having new landscapes to photograph whilst on the trip, I think being in a landscape like that it is impossible not to feel inspired in some way by what you see. On returning and joining the smaller photography based workshop, I learnt how to develop ideas gathered from 2D photographs and translate these into 3D forms. I think the experience has made me more confident in my work and less afraid to take risks, I also .

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Trip to Neath Valley and Port Talbot 

I have recently been looking into ideas of nature in urban environments and urbanisation, and I think that visiting both these places in the one day really enforced the things I had been reading about. This trip also made me consider the micro  environments which occur in different locations, and the contrasts between the two locations.

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In the workshops after the trips I was really intrigued by the different drawing styles of everyone in the group. Students from other courses had such a different way of recording things, and how they focused on different things showing the differences in what they value most. I  found the lecture ‘Framing Landscape’, with John Clarkson very informative, especially learning about the three types of landscape experience – ‘The Sublime’, ‘Phenomenology’, and ‘Economics, Politics and Ecology’. I never really considered that landscapes could be classed under these headings.

Over all, I really enjoyed this project and I think all that I have learnt and experienced has really pushed my work forward and I imagine I will continue working within these themes, doing more drawings outside, and possibly another set of 100 drawings in a new location.

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