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I’ve just completed my second year studying MA Multi-Disciplinary Printmaking at the University of the West of England. Since my last post (back in November!) I’ve made a lot of progress and have recorded in other ways but not on this blog.

I left off partway through Developing Practice so I’ll use this post to summarise the remainder of this module. During Developing Practice I was able to experiment with a number of different processes and push forward with my research. By the end of that term (in mid-January) I had a collection of finished and unfinished works including 3D making, enamel, roller printing, linocut and, textile printing.

All works developed from the work produced on a two-week residency with the Museum of Loss and Renewal in Italy in July 2019. I began to incorporate my experiences with CBT into my work responding to statues, painted scenes, and objects used as votive offerings.

Research into the different parts of the brain led to 3D models of specific areas related to self-worth and self-esteem inspired by Greek and Roman anatomical votives made of terracotta and stone. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to move on to working with other materials and the objects that I made as prototypes are only modeling clay but it was a great opportunity to try translating my drawings into 3D and working with new materials and forms.

A big focus for the term was on expanding my technical skills and designing and screen-printing a repeat pattern in textiles was a huge achievement and such a useful learning experience. The printed textiles have yet to take on a function but opened up the possibility of considering protective clothing, tents, or cloaks.

The final output from Developing Practice was a series of three enamel statues made as a tentative exploration into personal votives and protective figures. The concepts and forms weren’t as developed as I would like but I viewed these pieces as prototypes for testing out ideas and furthering my technical making. I had major and minor setbacks and problems making them (burning the colour out of my enamel transfer was design was not a great moment!) and they were a challenge to work on but it was so valuable to have the opportunity to work with processes that were new to me and apply the limited enamel experience that I’d had on day workshops to a more involved project. Creating these figures allowed me to consider what the statues meant to me and how they might be interpreted by others asking questions such as: did I want to make something that only I connected with? How could I find a way of producing something that others could interact with?

This was a hugely important term for me; technically I was able to play and investigate processes that I had previously overlooked because they didn’t ‘fit’ with my practice. It’s possible that I’ll return to some of these processes again and there were numerous gains that validate the exploration into less obviously useful or traditional print/illustration territory.

One of the most important breakthroughs from this term was working out what I’m interested in and where I want to take my practice. Responding to my own health issues and weaving these into my practice alongside the spiritual and historical research enabled me to see how important health and wellbeing is as a theme in my work. Previous projects that have explored topics under this umbrella such as MindtheSex and What Next? and my work for Creative Remedies have been some of the most rewarding and interesting things that I’ve done and working through my own mental health challenges during the residency and Developing Practice shone a light on health and wellbeing as an important theme that I want to continue working with.