Using the columns for the first time made it so much easier to write up the essay in comparison to last year’s writing tasks I completed. My ideas and the theory were much more organised than last year and I found the whole process much more enjoyable than last year. The whole process was considerably less stressful and terrifying. I also found that taking my laptop to every study group helped a lot as it meant I could write everything that the tutor said which was tiring but actually cemented the knowledge in my mind as opposed to taking notes on paper last year when I couldn’t keep up with the speed of the tutor talking so my notes were sporadic and didn’t make any sense at all.
Some difficulties I encountered whilst doing the second and third columns were using met search and identifying the correct quotes. In terms if met search I found it hard to phrase the search words in a way that would bring up results that I wanted. I have difficulties phrasing things in a more sophisticated and academic way due to my dyslexia. To combat this, I sought help from my housemates who were also in the study group so I would tell them what I wanted and needed to find and they would help me word it in a way that brought up much more relevant sources than I was finding on my own. I now know I could have done this with the library staff but because of issues surrounding anxiety I found it hard to build up the courage to do so. The other main difficulty I was having was deciding whether or not the quotes I had eventually found actually supported the idea I was explaining. This I think got better as I went along in the essay and gained a bit more momentum and confidence within the essay. Finding the confidence to do this was difficult again due to my dyslexia I struggle to feel confident in pieces of writing but with the help of the columns I felt much more comfortable in producing a piece of writing as appose to last year.
Whilst exploring the images and concepts present in my chosen images as well as the concepts we discussed in the study groups I found that the idea of attractive monsters really interested me. The juxtaposition of the opposing ideas creates conflict within the audience but also the monster. But I found it especially interesting how the female monsters I studied used their sexual identity as a tool to further their monstrosity. I found it gave the monsters power that is different from the stereotypical weak, passive and pathetic horror film female victim.
This project has lead me into thinking about the topic of my dissertation, I am currently thinking about exploring physical appearance and monstrous acts but focusing more on real life not just in films and literature. I have always had an interest in psychology and pour behaviour as humans, I was considering looking into real life monsters; criminals, murders etc. And how their appearance has effected the way people react to them. For example, if a murderer is conventionally attractive would people be more empathetic towards them where as they may show more hatred towards someone who has an appearance that differs from what society views as ‘normal’– tattoos, shaved hair etc. I think I could then look into the way these monsters are represented in film and tv in dramatizations of true stories and look at the way they are characterised and if there are certain things that are emphasised more than others in these dramatizations of the acts. An example of this would be the retelling of the Shannon Mathews abduction called “The Moorside”.
Constellation has affected my studio practice I have found I look more closely at how things can evoke feelings without overtly expressing them, meaning people must look into the work I create and consider it more. For example, when we see marble we think of its cold smooth but hard surface. Using the columns has urged me to realise how important it is to consider parts of my work. Looking at the different meanings things can convey, this could mean extra research into the meaning and context of the work but I think it will make my work much more successful.
I now feel more considerate in my design decisions in terms of composition and remembering fundamental blocks of graphic design such as hierarchy, colour, tone etc. Working on and in until work is as good as I can produce but remembering how valuable taking breaks is to progress is another thing I have gained from constellation. I see it as something I like to do now with both academic and creative work, taking the time to make sure everything is in place and not only looks good but functions to the best of its ability.
After finishing the essay I feel quite proud and satisfied with the result as I struggled a lot last year and was beginning to dread writing an even larger piece of academic type writing. I think I have really engaged with the material we have covered in the study groups as well as the research I have found for myself. Moving forward into planning the dissertation and the dissertation proposal I think I need to make sure I have the right systems in place to keep my ideas organised as this is what has made the process of this year formative assessment much easier and more enjoyable to complete.