Reflecting on the summer and MA2

Reflecting on the summer and MA2

Self isolation staycaytion with notebook – Annalong, Co. Down

I tried to spend the summer scrutinizing what happened in year MA2, examining it and building upon what I discovered.

I am not explicit enough – slippage between my immersed understanding and what is taken by the viewer. Notebooks support the thinking and unpacking of ideas more than the final works. More critical reflection and contextual material in journal entries.

I must allow more of my voice in the work – more refined and rigorous placement of myself within my practice. Become my own analyst – imagine it in the third person? An immediate reflection V’s a reflection with critical distance.

Appropriate references in writing are not embedded in the text enough – unpack and connect ideas with more continuity.

As an artist I seek to create a space in places that aspire to initiate learning encounters. I encourage learners to question and choose their preferred ways learning. I offer multiple perspectives to engage, at the risk of not being explicit enough have I myself become a ‘disobedient’ learner when I co-produce artwork? (Atkinson, 2018). Atkinson describes disobedient learning – in the sense of being encouraged to go beyond what might be expected. I witness unknowns fail, become outcomes or both. New materialisations in the work expand my own learning and practice. The communal drawings by children on a blank cape spoke to me of an inner primal language, describing relationships with others and body depicting what Barad describes as ‘what it means to be human’. Their world undoing all prescribed outcomes. It is difficult to make visable the explicit in this circumstance as the work is still in the process of being actualised. I favour a non hierarchical approach yet I am expected, as part of my MA to position myself ‘above’ and analyse their outputs. I need to find an appropriate method to engage this role I must undertake. My rituals in practice are the known element. The encounters with relational objects constitute the departure, the unknown – what is suddenly possible. How does the encounter matter, restless forces of art unfolding new possibilities for making, seeing, feeling and thinking. Returning to the ritual notebooks, anchoring the moment before it evolves to the next stage.

AAEX collective – Flamingo installation as part of the SEEK festival, Dundalk Co. Louth

Covid 19 has greatly affected how I can deliver workshops and classes – they are due to phase in gradually, in September but government guidelines continue to change regarding numbers of attendees. The studio has remained busy regardless – 2 painted commissions completed and continued work on pending projects. I was awarded mentoring to pursue online trading. I also migrated my accounts package to a cloud based system (a tedious task but so much more efficient). My role as Arts Rep for the county Public Participation Network is concentrating on developing a handbook and procedures for tabling motions that can influence and change arts policies locally. I have enjoyed art correspondence with Stefan and members of my AAEX collective. We spent a few weeks collating proposals and tenders for work in Q4 2020 and 2021. And this, the first post to the blog for MA3.

Image taken from Stefan Schaffeld’s Virtual Talk – Weggis Exhibition


Atkinson, D (2017) Art, Disobedience and Ethics – The Adventure of Pedagogy. London, Palgrave Macmillan

AAEX Flamingo: [Online Accessed 7th August 2020]

Stefan Schaffeld virtual talk / exhibit in Weggis.