Emotional response to colour
In particular I was interested to read the explanation of the reason for exploring the emotional response to colour and mark making. I am aware that there is both scientific and much anecdotal research to support the link between colour and how it influences emotions and reactions (hospitals were often painted green as this was considered to be a calming colour, for example). Red is often associated with sexuality but also with danger. This article in Psychology Today offers an interesting analysis of this concept. With this in mind, I can see how the use of colour in my work could be exploited both to express my own emotional response and also to invoke a particular response in those who may see my work.
Use of different threads/weights of thread in stitched samples
This was something of a surprise as the samples in stage 5 used a number of different materials - ribbon, wool, embroidery thread, lurex thread, viscose twist thread. However, it would be interesting to repeat this exercise with a range of hand-dyed threads/materials dyed in the same bath.
Poppy seed head
I felt that this design started well but did lose its way and I agree that the finished design is a little flat. However, I did use exactly the threads in the wrap so I am puzzled that the tutor thought I did not. Perhaps the wraps were not large enough to see the individual sections.
I did find that image manipulation in photoshop was a very interesting, quick way of testing techniques and exploring patterns, orientation, combinations, re-colouring and filtering. I agree with the tutor's comments that some of the designs, whilst very attractive in photoshop, would be very difficult if not impossible to replicate in a textile medium. I think this could be good practice for me in simplifying and focussing on the important aspects of an image, really honing in on the important parts and removing the distracting elements. There can be, too, a sterility in computer-generated design. This may be in part due to my lack of technical expertise but there is necessarily a flatness and lack of textural quality in an image. There is no opportunity for exploiting surface texture for light reflection and shadow or, of course, encouraging people to engage in other ways such as by touch, feel etc.Touch is such an important part of the textile experience for me.
The printing was lots of fun and I have since done lots more printing using a gelli plate, screen prints, lino cuts and simple foam prints. I am also exploring different print media - acrylics, thickened dyes, print resists (wax, starch pastes etc.) and different substrates as can be seen in project 5 and 6.
It was difficult to choose my favourite piece from this project and I took the cautious option, choosing the print which was technically the most successful. However, the tutor raises some very interesting points about the other prints, in particular the interaction between the printing and the background which is something I'll be factoring into future projects. I too liked the typographical prints as I find fonts can be turned into many different shapes and forms.
Pointers for the next assignment
Following discussion with my tutor I understand her concerns and have decided to revise my theme book topic to the ocean. At this stage I haven't narrowed my theme down further than that as I want to explore the wider theme and see where it takes me, bearing in mind the work done so far for other assignments and how this could build into the final assignment piece.
My personal targets in light of the tutor feedback
For the next assignment I am setting myself a target to continue to explore emotional responses to my environment, imagery and colours and to reflect this more in my work. I plan to continue my experiments with printing and to explore how printing could be combined with stitching. I have a number of ideas for using quilting, applique and free-machine embroidery to further develop prints into three-dimensional textile projects.
I will be making a concerted effort to gather research material, sketches etc. for my theme book and to consolidate this into a strong theme for my final project.