Reflecting on my previous experiences throughout constellation so far is great way for me to reflect on my strengths and learn from any weaknesses and challenges I have faced. My first term consisted of lectures titled The Many Guises of the Absurd held Jayne Hall-Cunnick. I found these lectures instantly interesting, and was excited to attend and learn more each week. In comparison to last year, I have improved greatly from a result of not completing last year’s work to the best of my ability. My attendance was 100% better and so was my interest during the class. Due to these lectures being a brand-new topic to myself and it being quite an ‘absurd’ and difficult topic to first comprehend, I challenged myself to work hard and grasps the theme to a high standard. This included re-writing class room notes, researching into the topics discussed in the lecture further and completing a lot of self-teaching outside of constellation hours. I benefited greatly from challenging myself this much. As constellation has been my weakest of the three modules so far in my university course, I was determined to improve my standards a lot.
I think I achieved what I set out to do first term, as I successfully completed my formative essay which in comparison to last years, was a vast improvement. This improvement was a result of a great deal more background reading of academic texts regarding my topic and essay which resulted in my essay being a lot easier to write. I was considering several different ideas and had an opinion on a statement that I read due to a strong knowledge around my essay. Although I completed a vast amount of background reading, I still think a lot more reading could have been completed to strengthen my essays pointed even further. I acknowledge that me proof reading my essay several times rather than just once help my essay a lot, as well returning to proof read it after a break with a fresh mind.
Regarding my dissertation, I decided to continue further with a general theme of existentialism. I have decided to investigate the theme of essence in regards to Jean-Paul Sartre and its relation with other relevant theories. Furthermore, whether essence can be projected into a piece of art. I have decided to apply said theories to the works of Louise Bourgeois with specific focus on pieces influenced from her maternal experiences. My overall argument will investigate the comparison of children in relation to art regarding obtaining an essence, referring to Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and several other research pieces that include contradictory and agreeing statements regarding Sartre’s theories.
I need to complete a lot more background reading regarding my dissertation. Completing a sufficient amount of academic research throughout my last essay lead me to be successful throughout, the more background reading I am completing in regards to my dissertation, the more I am understanding and deciding what direction of research I want to take. Previously reading ‘The sculpture Journal by Elyse Speaks’ and ‘Narrative inside out: Louise Bourgeois’ spider as a theoretical object by Mieke Bal’ and ‘Fantastic Reality: Louis Bourgeois and a Story of Modern Art by Julia Bryan-Wilson” I have gained a much greater knowledge on Louise Bourgeois and how her personal life affected her themes of artwork but I still have a lot more research to complete and to include several examples of pieces regarding Bourgeois’ various themes. Already analysing ‘Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness by Mark Rowlands’ and ‘Existentialism in Modern Art by Justin Wolf’ I have grasped a gaining knowledge of Sartre’s theories and people’s interpretations of them. To progress further, I need to complete extensive research surrounding Being and Nothingness, analysing contradictory and influenced narratives and journals in regards to it. This will help me to gain an outstanding knowledge throughout this theory that I can proceed by applying to Bourgeois’ pieces regarding the topic of essence.
To gain contextual research throughout my dissertation proposal, I used Met Search, being quite new to this software it took a while for me to get to grips with it. After perusing through and learning how to use this search engine, I now understand why it is such an important tool to use. To improved my research further, I need to revisit the library and loan books to gain a variety of research. I want to loan books out that teach me about Bourgeois’ life further and specifically how and what work it really influenced. I am excited to visit the library again which is rare for me, this gives me confidence that I have chosen to write about the thing for my dissertation as I am excited to discover and learn more about the topic.
My dissertation relates back to my practise as since discovering Louise Bourgeois and her pieces, she has influenced me in my own work. Furthermore, gaining knowledge throughout existentialist thinking and helped me to interoperate other work in a new approach that is very enlightening to me.
The next steps to succeed in my dissertation will be to read a vast amount of more literature and strengthen my knowledge in aspect such as; Sartre’s theories, where children come into it, and specific pieces of Bourgeois’ art work. I have done extensive research regarding journals but they have been a bit broad, I am now going to research into more specific journals surrounding my topics.
To conclude, I am very happy with my progression throughout constellation this year, I feel like I have improved greatly in comparison to last year. I am self-teaching and learning loads of new things and am excited to progress further and complete my dissertation to a high standard.