End of Year Degree Show Evening

Tomorrow should be an odd day to be back at Uni. The end of year degree show evening is from 6-8pm and will be the first time that people outside of the immediate University environment will have seen the offerings from this years graduates, myself included. It’ll be great to see everybody’s work up and completed, showcasing the fantastic cross section of skills and talent that I think my year has to offer the world. Hopefully, other people will share this opinion..!

During the earlier part of the day, I cannot say that I am particularly pleased to report that I was informed that my Dissertation was chosen as one of those submitted to the external examiner. I’m unsure whether this does not have the ability to impact on the mark that I have already received (a shocking 83 that sits far further into the First boundary than I would have hoped for), but I’m sure there are materials in the UCA student archives that can advise me one way or the other. Of course, this means that the monstrous beast of an essay that I thought I had slain, will be making one last pass to darkening its final morning. Like most people in my year I have forgotten most of the contents of my Dissertation by now, which is shocking considering the comparative time I must have spent working on it! But at least I can now read through it again tomorrow morning before the meeting, with a grasp of my argument, new perspective and some new criticisms of it all.

I’d like to say my luck holds out until the end of the week, but allowing for a break on Wednesday, I find myself back in Uni for external assessment once again- this time for my major project. Given my very fresh thoughts, misgivings and alterations to this project I am a little more anxious about this meeting but once again, I am sure that a dose of positive hindsight and clear explanation will make use of itself if needed.

Due to the timing of it all, this unfortunately means missing the opening night of the exhibition at the Proud Gallery. I’m rather disappointed since it means that I won’t get to know the work, mingle and meet the photographer, but as this was always possible I can’t say I wasn’t forewarned.

So while I’m looking forward to tomorrow night and celebrating in the Union bar, it looks like I’ll have to make the most of it being sandwiched between a couple of less celebratory events.

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Over Thyme

Firstly, please pardon the atrocious title. I think the summer sun has got the better of me. And I’ve had alot of exposure to that today!

As part of my Final Major Project, a large portion of my supporting material for my submission display was actually alive. By which I mean, was a selection of plant varieties that would be appropriate for the proposed project. Unfortunately the combination of being left to its own devices in an unattended room at Uni and the freakishly hot weather we have been having the last week, my work was not in the best of states when I was able to get in and tend to it. This called for an SOS mission in time for the evening exhibition of work on campus!

While I had a sinking feeling I would not be seeing some of it again, the large arrangement of thyme that I had made was able to be saved in parts, and the most likely candidates were saved by extracting and soaking in the shade. While it isn’t nearly as bushy as I loved its predecessor for being, it does now look much happier in itself from most angles. Obviously, its not a miracle fix but when I take it home again after the exhibition I’ll have much more of an opportunity to give it the TLC it deserves for being in such an odd arrangement.
The smaller sedum arrangement that accompanied it and was intended to be an indication of the type of textures that I wanted my proposed project to capture, unfortunately suffered a similar fate. While not as bad as its counterpart, a similar process of rebuilding, replacing and replanting actually gave me the opportunity to add more colour and different textures to the arrangement. I haven’t quite got used to the Mk 2 appearances of either yet, but I suppose this is the major pitfall of making work of this nature! Each replacement plant costs money, but as an unexpected bonus for Free Range in London, the turf piece that I shaped and planted a couple of months ago is going berserk in its trough and will look fantastic to display my guidebook, logo and blurb. I’m looking to also stick some sticks with clips or wire holders in the turf, to hold some business cards in a more fun way to supplement a small box. At least I can do that without punishing the family patio.

Ah well, another day, another sunburn in the line of work!

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I can’t believe how busy I’m not at the moment- compared to being rushed off my feet a couple of months ago! Its difficult to know how best to use my time in the brief limbo between now and not only getting more hours at work, but starting my volunteer position in the Proud Gallery.

Ah yes. I don’t believe I blogged about that little gem! After applying with not so much expectation of a reply, I was fortunate enough to be called to interview and was even more so to be told they would be happy to have me. Unpaid, yes. But I think it’ll be a fascinating and fun place to get some experience in the running, organisation and behind-the-scenes work of a gallery environment. Did I mention it was in Camden?! When I read the ad, it was something I didn’t think I could pass up without trying. Things look so fresh and contemporary creative in there, hopefully I can make myself useful!  I’ll put another entry up with the details and the blurb from the website after this one, for anybody who might be interested in swinging by the newly refurbished gallery space.

Construction update

Ahh back to blogging- its certainly been a while! Tonight I have managed to convince myself that one night off will not undo the work of all the late nights previous. It gives me a chance to catch up here and actually enjoy it instead of hurrying to get something else done!

As my tone might imply, I’m feeling a little more resigned relaxed about my project at the moment. I know that while I always work as hard as I can to reach something perfect, I know that I’d very well make myself ill trying to do it. I’m getting to grips with the idea that when something isn’t or can’t be made perfect, it can be ‘good enough’ as the honest product of my hard work. I can’t do any better than that. I say this now of course, but come results day I’d bet cartwheels down the GD corridor that it won’t be the case! Continue reading

Turf and Thyme photo breakdown

Finally, some time to outline my final plan of attack! This should help clarify things even further in my mind, but first I’ll start with a recap of my cryptic last photo post…

On what was blissfully the only good weathered day of last week, I bit the bullet and spent approximately £100 on supplies to plant up an experimental and (hopefully!) useful prop to my final display. Sure, its an expensive kind of experiment, but after planning and fretting about what it might or might not look like/weigh/cost/smell like, I was only going to know by doing.
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Turf & Thyme

I’ll be finding mud under my fingernails until graduation!

I’ll be posting a more detailed update of my garden exploits later on, which will hopefully explain what turf, thyme and compost have to do with design! Nonetheless, I’m grateful that the weather was a balmy 15 degrees for long enough to plant my considerable size green investment.

Review Notes & Response

After today’s review it looks like I’m going to be making another pass at the drawing board.

And I won’t lie, its a little depressing. Its actually more frustrating than anything else. But on the flip side, it is entirely possible that the solution to my current problem is already half-formed in my idea generation and development.

My most immediate problem is the design of my seating unit itself and how it fails to adequately convey the feelings that the billboard design concept succeeds in doing. Which is to say that it was identified how the billboard concept relied on the element of overgrowing and wilderness over a period of time, which better conveyed the idea of non-conformity with the urban environment. It is this wildness that was missing from the drawn-up seating plans and was much too restrained in its use of plants. The mock seating units are too harsh and do not invite touching or curious investigation. They still look like street furniture and by including the redirection to parks, they preach about something that they could be demonstrating there and then in a very unconvincing tone.

Fixing this might not mean a completely new approach however, since discussion revealed that my initial thinking and ideas were much more experimental, and utilised more organic matter in display. How did this change of tact happen? Thats another story entirely, but by revisiting these ideas I can incorporate my recent considerations and develop them afresh. Since the review I have synthesised a new concept based on these, which is much more reflective of the wild, free growing yet functional work I am aiming to propose. I plan on running this past a tutor to make sure I’m not heading down yet another dead end, but will have to digitise it first.
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