Reflect:on Learning Experiences in Art, Design & Media
Debbie Flint, University of BrightonWhat can students’ visual and textual reflections on learning in art, design and media higher education tell us about the value of that experience? The entries to our student award, Reflect:on Learning Experiences in Art, Design & Media, showcased in issue 17 of Networks tell us something about the diversity of those experiences, the teaching practices and opportunities that students value an...
What can students’ visual and textual reflections on learning in art, design and media higher education tell us about the value of that experience?
The entries to our student award, Reflect:on Learning Experiences in Art, Design & Media, showcased in issue 17 of Networks tell us something about the diversity of those experiences, the teaching practices and opportunities that students value and, perhaps most importantly, the impact of these on students’ lives.
Students express these impacts in several ways: in relation to their engagement with creative industries and career prospects and the development of their creative skills and work; but also in relation to the development of expanded ways of thinking and self-knowledge. In the words of a few of the entrants:
This was a valuable work experience for me, I gained business knowledge and advice for ways in which I can setup and start my own career as a freelance animator. She’s also a contact I’ll always have and will hopefully be able to work with again in the near future (Bradley Bailey, Bath Spa University).
Course tutors have shown me a new way of expressing creativity and opened my eyes to new opportunities, which I didn't even know existed, in the vast world of textile design (William Lee, Buckinghamshire New University).
Learning experiences in art, design and media are not only reflecting creative fields but also a comprehensive study of many things. Therefore, you do not only focus on one thing. It is about continuous research of diverse areas (Chia Yun Hsieh, Kingston University).
Before my HE experience my thoughts were random and uncentred. Now with skills, confidence, and the ability to free my imprisoned mind into the world. I can now achieve the future I desire (Juliana Carey, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University).
The experience of higher education is about a process of challenging, and deconstructing my cognition of myself through the critical environment (Yun Chin Hsu, Birmingham City University).
My course has not only given me space and time to reflect on my own practice, but to give birth to another identity which would never have existed (Jill Woods, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University).
At a time when the cost of higher education is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it is well worth reflecting on this value - which many of the award entrants express so articulately.
All of the entries, including those of our award winner, Lydia Hardwick (Royal College of Art) and runner up, Bradley Bailey (Bath Spa University) can be viewed here.
The Networks team would like to thank all the students who have taken part.
Lydia Hardwick, whose entry was chosen as the winner by online voters, is reproduced below with a short biography.
The Epiphany Head
The Royal College of Art sets your brain on positive overload. I sometimes feel my head will swell and burst. You are constantly fuelled by information and innovation provided through lectures, visiting speakers, critiques, conversation with your peers, exhibitions, technical workshops…
My piece is a visual summarisation of my reaction to this information-dense environment. The material qualities are loose and roughly produced, demonstrating the fast flux of information, settling into little colourful simultaneous epiphanies around my head. I purposeful chose the figure to be straight and wearing grey, to show how my body can sometimes feel flat and static in comparison to the activity running though my head.
Lydia Hardwick was born in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex in 1987 and currently lives in London. Her sculptural practice has been praised for its sensitivity to material combinations and surface qualities. She is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Ceramics and Glass at the Royal College of Art, having previously studied at Chelsea and Camberwell Colleges of Art. Her work has been exhibited at a number of venues throughout the UK. This year, she received the Werner Levy Bequest from the Royal College of Art, and in 2010 the Arts Council funded the purchase of her kiln. She has recently been shortlisted for both the John Norris Wood Drawing Prize and the Julian Trevelyan Foundation Residency. Alongside her own practice, Lydia is active in the field of education. She is a qualified teacher, and regularly runs workshops in schools as an artist in residence. As a curator, Lydia created unStatic – an evening of performance and sound art for the local community of Leigh-on-Sea.
Header image: screen grab from final part of Bradley Bailey's Work Placement video
Listing image: section from Lydia Hardwick's Epithany Head