BA Fine Art

Set in the developing and widely establishing Waterfront Ipswich Marina docks. Just outside the town centre.

Part of the School of Arts and Humanities the vision of the course is growing and enhancing the Arts in the region and beyond.

Led by ambitious tutors and staff to promote Arts in the current career climate. It is a friendly and professional atmosphere.


Opening up this year has been a challenge after such a bad time with my disability. I am thankful to say that the Lecturers have all been so supportive and just knowing they care is helpful.

Its heartbreaking not making deadlines and yet perhaps i am over critical of my progress. I like to be organised in amongst all the chaos of academia.

Until now i have not realised how precious good positive and practical support we have as students, can enrich our time as final year students.

Fine Art is great to study as you can feed the mind with creativity and the atmosphere on the course is not competitive as in previous years its a great feeling to be a part of BREATHE Degree Show.

It took a lot to come back to study this year but the passion and depth of The Gaze and Mirror Stage and the work of Mona Hatoum really is engaging my academic thinking despite all the harm i had last December due to Bipolar Disorder (mental illness).

Health really is a major issue in studying. Over the years i have seen many people suffer due to mental or physical illneses. But i am proud to say i am persevering and being motivated. Its a challenge thinking academically anyway as i see many people focus their energies right now on Dissertations … but we have a Degree Show to plan for too!!!

Today we brainstormed and made the progress we so desperately need. We will have fun and make it work.

Exercising the body is helping too! i get up 6.30 am in the morning to do Dance Cardio and it has really helped to keep positive and focussed. Healthy Body = Healthy Brain!!!

My method of working on my written work i have noticed i need to spread out the books notes and important references into an aesthetic visually engaging order as you can see, my References for the Bibliography in the images in this post. Which relates to my Dissertation theme of The Gaze. It’s vital to my way of organising and planning as well as theoretically thinking.

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At long last i managed to put some work up to be marked and yet with so many things stacked against me it was a success.

Because of the stairs being the place i wanted my work to be in i had to do my usual and go all out and take over the stairs!!! yep every bit was essential and made to be noticed or eventually noticed!!

The work i put in was based from my past using the technology and experience of now!

I feel that my work possesses an aura and on the windows the words i put up would probably have been enough but in an experiment of taking everything down people persisted in using some spaces meant for artistic (even design ) use were then having posters put up and destroying the aura of the space so yes LaLa had to take over and Just Do it!!!

The Admission i made was essential as i had so many things to say about it and it also made people want to come. I know in my own mind how big it could be… even bigger than that and the knowledge i cannot do that alone. it was significant to share some of my experience of what my Architecture Theory Tutor said to me .. That i would be turning the world round like the Greek Temples crumbled i will make the changes to society for the next age. It has only just made me realise since a break through with my book that the whole thing could change the world for the better and lots of the neglected, forgotten, unloved and poor will stand a better chance in life – no charity only respect and prosper.

Christ is a beautiful and pure strength in everyone and i aim to see Leonardo Da Vinci works at the National Gallery the absolute Genius a real must of my lifetime to see. For him to be strong in Faith, well MR and Ms we must strive to have those Virtues and Strength.

Reading about Lacan and his theories of Leonardo’s female Gaze, the theory of Castration in women .. the psychosis ( well in that age a woman having children out of wedlock was seen to be psychotic ) it rings of sexism and male bias.

What if a woman is seen by men to have something that a man lacks, like why did God choose women to hold the baby as it grows from egg to embryo to baby?? Maybe Lacan had insecurities of his own. Now reading one of his audience, Julia Kristeva’s words on the Abjection of Horror.

What makes us sick to the stomach or wretch with disgust? is that the body making us react? I am doing my Dissertation on Mona Hatoum .. must not forget that!!!

What is Das Ding? Who am i? who are you? who is that? The Gaze of looking at the painting, the object, the atmosphere the feelings of engagement with the body and personal attachment or rejection.

My reflective practice made me see that my interest in mirrors goes beyond the state of vanity or the Mona Hatoum work – You Are Still Here – I chose that work to inspire my use of mirrors in a fine art practice but something in my view of the world has made me want to focus on use of mirrors in a reflexive sense.

Mirrors for me have a very sensual and soulful experience like a channel of communication to my Grandmas but mirrors are not for everyone and that is part of my challenge with text … look at yourself. Ask yourself questions.


It is interesting to observe the patterns of work done over the years as pointed out by one of my tutors, Sarah.

So many times the journey of and in life as a metaphor in art either through video art, print, or installation.

A mode of transportation from one space to another and delving into the abyss of mirrors and reflecting. The beginning of last year i looked at Orpheus and The Underworld briefly… a Greek Mythological story and the beauty of the music composer Jacques Offenbach.

I do see how self indulgent art can appear to be and as an artist how instinctive and distinctive each artist develops their practice.

The process of thought, the passion, of inspiration and as artists how we are a collective mirror reflecting on the world, in all our differing and specific themes and concepts. its fantastic the power of mind and thinking and transferal of thought.

Its been tough to return to the work and to execute the ideas which i look back on now and realise the essential part of my work is that it belongs in the public realm. It is partially gallery work but mainly a purpose for interaction – it has no place in the world unless it is viewed and confronted with the viewers for it to exist as a piece of art.

To see, think, confess, recoil, intrigue, interact, reassure, question, existence of the work is then confirmed and the existence of the viewer / spectator is then confirmed. The historical, present and past all exist at once in 4 dimensions. Video and CCTV to become art in the mirror the different components but in a mirror there is no record only memories and communication with the self.

Ultimately the bond is video to the installation work and an integral part of the concept of the ‘self’ the existence, reality aspects of using a mirror and the social (references of beauty, feminism and appearance are acknowledged but not part of the concept) meaning that the Admissions and Observations theme are part of the interaction and participation in the works.

My Faith, in Christianity is fast becoming a part of my future work and in the Bible mirrors have a significant part in the stories of women in Biblical times. For example Esther, Eve .. the wives of slaves in Egypt, in Exodus.

My future work will be something to focus in on and explore soon.

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There are 42 days until the Degree Show day and much less than that to the assessment! I have a fair idea of my work for the space i am wanting to use. It will be a challenge with my disability to cope with deadlines – i remain hopeful.

Reflecting on the proposed work i will be exhibiting it seems, as Jane Watt, tutor, expressed, that it will be a thinking space rather than a work to sell / solely to show off.

But i believe that the confrontational aspect of my work is its selling point and yet most of the work will not be for sale!

Taking a look at the space that i am proposing to use has helped enormously and it has a very exciting dynamic spatial arrangement within it, which i propose to utilise.

My illness / Disability has no set state or sense of deadlines which is frustrating me. I had to leave uni earlier on because of my inability to be conscious which has meant that i am now up late!! It does frustrate me because i know that i will be up with the larks in the morning to much frustration from my husband!

The past year has been a very turbulent one and it has seen many changes, challenges and accomplishments. The work i have been doing over the past 9 years (off and on) has led me to here at the end of the first half of the Level 6 course work. This journey (wow a lot of my work in the past has been based on journeys!), leading me to the place i am at now finding my own language and the unique selling point. The aesthetics of the language of an artist is the main accomplishment of the final year student of any level of degree.

Returning to the points about the work i am creating and the journeys i have taken, the proposal including the miniatures and the video and mirror works. These aspects have changed form in state – the mini is now the small mirrors in Stories on the Stairs and the mirror text is developed and developing, the Shop idea is not what i deel appropriate for the politics of work i am doing i don’t want to focus on empty shops from someone’s bad luck and economics – it is the focus on the recovery i want – there are too many worries in the world. But wow i have really found fun in the prospect of taking a look at the holistic journey from school age (in the Reflective Practice/ Mini Retrospective) that my view of art has changed!

From feeling like a pretty picture is all that is needed and the fear, yes fear of modern / contemporary art is now gone, in place is a hunger and a drive to create work and get out there and have work exhibited in galleries.

The ultimate question asked at many galleries, museums, openings, homes is What is it meant to be? Is this art? What is it? …. i expect it to be asked at the Degree Show and it is the one question that is going to be displayed in my work on a mirror that once belonged to my Nan-In-Law Hester Whitehart. Before she passed away i got to know her so well but not well enough. She will be there in some form. And especially i hope in that mirror she often used. She would be, along with my husband wondering what it all means.

The work i am doing is work in progress as i am doing the theory aspects – dissertation and critical review next academic year. It is a good thing that i am doing it part time. There have been many challenges over the last year rather dramatic! and the feeling is that i am afraid that i won’t be able to do it.

Its been great to have been doing a number of non academic work alongside the course work. The Degree Show Invites and the Art Auction, the AA2A work. Its been the blog here that has been giving me an outlet to work things out and share how i am managing as a disabled student. I have seen many students with my disability leave early because they have been unable to continue. Well i am nearly at the degree Show!!!


i have taken some time from all the preparations for the Degree Shows to do some work and to rest. It has taken so much of my time and has exhausted not only me but also my fellow students. WE are all doing so well as best we can.

As part of the EXIT Degree Show i have tried to do what i can but there are some people who are more able than i am in that curating role and i made a lot of effort to bring in some good raffle prizes for our Art Auction on wednesday … bit of my marketing role kicking in. I have been trawling through some local journals too, and taken note of the advertising opportunities through Degrees Unedited. I have come to the conclusion i need more help!

With the work i have been creating i have also had to draw away from the Admission theme and try something different.

In experiments i drew inspiration from the work i did in my Reflective Practice, that i looked at my origins of my interest in Art. This is so important at this time and naturally i have been working like this for a while. Most of the work i have done over the past year has been discovering the baseline and bottom of the well of my creative force.

From beginnings in Art at school to design back to art. In so many ways we are all artists but if you make those steps like so many other artists have that Art becomes a way of life…. this is where the stories come from. Life … origins of living and experience.

Since being a Spatial Design Student at what was Suffolk College in 1992 when the building had just that month been built, there have been many stories told on those stairs, the days and nights of activity that the stairs could if they could speak tell of all the stories and dramas on the stairwell. I decided to use some magnetic mirrors to reflect that history.

The Mirror Voids, Origins Behind the Stories on the Stairs, 2011 had to be done when no-one was about for safety issues, and while installing them it occurred to me the similarities with the Admit Mirror Confessions and Observations i did last year at the Salthouse Hotel. The way in which we move through the space and we all become part of the Art work as we walk along past the mirrors.

They are small and may not be noticed at first so i have made a label and some description of the work to go up to support it.

I will be in the white space again on the following monday after tomorrow because i have some work i need to do towards the degree show planning. As the room is square and the space i hope to use is an L shape this will be a challenge! but it will be an experimentation.

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