Reflections on A Matter of Process.[1]

Master of Fine Art

A collaborative blog by DJCAD MFA class of 2011


Reflections on A Matter of Process.[1]

The constant process.

Irony: the fallout.

The insertion of the examination process into an exhibition concerned with the process of art-making leads to a feeling of closure. Not with standing that you grow tired of looking at your own work, but it feels defined, boxed. The mediation and then establishment of different modes of viewing which was such a fertile ground during the process of the exhibition making, becomes a tarmac car park, needing ripping up to allow new growth. – This was my initial feeling as I viewed with the distance of 3 weeks. But we’ve been through this before: “Try again, Fail again, Fail better.”[2] Insert succeed if you will, neither exist after all.

The experience of co-curating an exhibition is productively, an unnerving experience. Particularly so in which your own visual practice is present, not only your curatorial practice, straddling both in this instance. Collaborations are changeling. Considering other artist’s work within the context of your own practice and the consideration of that with­­­­­ in a specific environment is an eye-opening experience. This led to me wondering how the work existed without this interaction previously. But it did and does exist without the gallery or context of examination, through the artist’s subjective experience of society. But that’s to be expected, isn’t it? Personal expression is a human right…right?

Viewing the work being viewed is always a tense moment, but discussing the work as it’s viewed by your peers undergoing the same process, leads to a hugely different point of view. This is undeniably advantageous. However I suspect we listen to our peers more closely because they’re more likely to say what we want to hear. Or is it perhaps just because we’re speaking the same language?

We the MFA’s, I believe, have seen our work develop in ways which would not have occurred were the works not put in that space. It gave us the space to imagine ourselves outside the parameters of a MFA program, or outside the insular artist studio, (perhaps a microcosm for the insularity of the art world.) Now the difficulty lies in bring this spirit from the gallery institution model to the every-man. How do you talk it, not tell it?


[1] Posted by Sinead Bligh in reflexion to A Matter of process. The show was curated in direct response to the discussions which arose between Joanne Rowan and Sinead after their participation with A Cut A Scratch A Score.Cooper Gallery Dundee 2012

[2] Samuel Beckett’s Worstward Ho. 1983

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