The original aim of this project was to continue my exploration of community art and co-creation, focusing on the beneficial effects of working on co-created art projects and the need for this in challenging times such as the one we all currently find ourselves in due to the coronavirus.
The way that I planned to make work for this project changed dramatically mid-way through the module, forcing me to rethink what I was intending to make and find entirely new ways to present the combined submissions sent in by participants. I have learned an entirely new skillset for working on digital platforms, having had to rely heavily on tools such as the Adobe Creative Suite (with which I was largely unfamiliar) and with no real idea until the end whether the tools I was using were capable of producing the work I envisioned, particularly in a much shortened timescale and in the hands of a novice.
My exploration of the theoretical contexts informing my field of practice (i.e. co-creation and community art) were invaluable here, as they kept bringing me back to the reasons for creating the work and the values and vision I have developed as an authorial illustrator in this field. Jeremy Deller’s thoughts on art being more about what you make happen than what you actually make were a huge comfort, particularly when it looked like the animation wasn’t working!
Although the project specification and delivery methods changed so dramatically mid-way, I feel I met these challenges well, problem-solving and repeatedly finding new ways to visually edit and present the work to a wide range of audiences. As a result of the enforced change in direction I did not produce as much work as I potentially would have liked, but I am pleased with the work which I did produce.
The theoretical knowledge I had gained during the writing of my critical publication allowed me to critically reflect on what I was producing and how well it was working, and this last module felt as though it was backed up by a solid bank of theoretical knowledge, particularly on the methodologies of co-creation, which was woven throughout the practical project delivery.
I feel the work I have produced, and the final animation in particular, is accessible, effectively communicates the messages sent in by the people who participated and is visually much more beautiful and absorbing than I had dared to hope. I am really pleased with the final outcome.
Lastly, this module has left me with a clear idea of my personal position within the field of authorial illustration. I have several avenues to pursue with this project and am excited about my professional future within the sector as a result.
20th August 2020