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  • martinamargaux

Assessment UNIT 1

Updated: Feb 19

LO1. Formulate, describe and implement a challenging and self-directed programme of study, relating to your Study Statement.

(AC Enquiry)

A detailed response to this Learning Outcome is available in my Study Statement “IMMATERIAL MATTER (s)” -  Unveiling the contradictions of perception through material manipulation"

Download here:

Download PDF • 244KB

The path that led me to this particular theme and research field, can be traced through earlier blog posts.

For instance, in "A poke around Manifestation" and "At the beginning there was Two", I started investigating the themes of perception and truth in philosophy, psychology and mysticism.

My research continued in this direction although not every book/paper/documentary/podcast I engaged with has been individually reviewed on the blog.

As I progress, I will make sure to document my critical analysis and review significant reads that impact my research (and consequently, my practice).

The resources that most influenced my theoretical inquiries are listed in the "Bibliography" section of my Study Statement.

I also recorded personal insights, perceptions and reflections in relation to my area of interest on the blog, for example:

All these elements have influenced and will continue to influence the development of my self-directed programme, as outlined in my Study Statement:

The plan is flexible and open to change. Unforeseen opportunities, events and encounters may arise, that could impact the plan and offer valuable contributions to my growth as an artist.

LO2. Implement appropriate working methods for building an independent and effective self-organisation that enables the critical engagement with practice-based research.

(AC Process)

Since the start of the course, I have very much appreciated the encouragement to explore unknown territories, experiment with unfamiliar media, and take risks.

The first phase of my practice therefore has been nothing but playful and led me to discover unexpected passions and new media. Initially, I've placed myself in an almost childlike position trying out various methods and methodologies, and then reporting my observations in the blog:

  • In “Risk and the Element of Surprise”, I challenged myself with drawing and painting, something very far from my familiar practice. In this post I focused on my sensorial experience and I re-discovered how and why the lens is one of my chosen tools of expression.

  • in "Maya" I imagined mixed-media work that plays with the paradoxes in the viewer's perception

  • In “Study on duality” – I tested out infrared filters and digital manipulation


I continued searching, playing, and reading at 360 degrees. Through this unbound approach, I had the opportunity to develop a visceral passion for darkroom processes and experimental analog photography, as recorded in the following posts:

Not only have I tried working with new media, but I have also observed and challenged my own process, changing methods, and testing new tools in new environments:

Following my epiphany in the darkroom, I’ve been obsessed with analog and digital manipulations, impatient to experiment further and more radically:

  • "Desert Shapes" - series about anthropomorphism and the human(-centric) perception of the world

  • "My untrue/unreal" – challenging perspectives while shooting and generating visual contradictions in digital post-production manipulation

I recently began my training with cameraless techniques:

I am currently experimenting with collage and basic mixed-media:

Cyanotype and lumen prints are next.

Blog posts will follow in the next weeks.

It has become evident to me that the key to refine my technique and develop my practice-based research is to do, make, and ritually practice.

Therefore, having access to a proper workspace as much as possible is essential.

Main obstacles: I live in a small apartment and the commitment to the course significantly reduced my economic possibilities.

But I have learnt that obstacles can be transformed into creative possibilities...

My plan is to set up a dark room in my small apartment for extensive experimentation and to use professional photo labs for more defined projects that require specific tools or expertise.

I also have a daily spiritual practice (yoga, kundalini, pranayama, meditation) which is having a significant impact on my sensorial awareness, concentration and creativity in my artistic practice.

I plan to write a post about this soon.

The first few months of this course have been incredibly enriching and surprising. I have learnt, discovered, failed, and set things in motion. I find it unexpectedly remarkable to see how far I've come, and how much I’ve changed in such a short but dense period of time.

This feeling makes me feel recharged and motivated, I can't wait to see where the next steps will take me.

More details about how I intend to direct and implement the evolution of my practice are outlined in the section "Methodology" of my Study Statement.

LO3 . Communicate a critical understanding of your developing practice.

(AC Knowledge, AC Communication)

Writing on the blog has proven to be an invaluable method to keep track of my developing practice, research and direction.

Tutorials are fundamental check-ins in my developing practice. They are an introspective opportunity to reflect and discuss what I have done and what I am planning to do, but also to train my communication skills in presenting my work.  

Jonathan is a great mirror and source of inspiration.

The evolution of my own thoughts, interests, and depth is recorded in the blog posts:

  • "Tutorial 1" - exploration of different media, embracing risks, noticing my interest in materiality and sensoriality

  • "Tutorial 2" - the balance between playful exploration and performance directiveness, self-awareness, overview of my current practice and works, next steps

This Assessment, and especially the Study Statement part, has been as useful as it has been challenging for me.

I truly enjoyed the first "playful" phase of my developing practice. I felt so free and fulfilled not knowing where I was going, what exactly I was looking for...but, as said, it was a phase, just one step of the artistic process.

This assessment pushed me to look back and go through all my research and explorations, to analyse and synthetise, to revise, select, discard, set aside, understand, and clarify where I am and where I want to go.

I must admit that I've experienced moments of crisis and self-doubt about my attitude, approach, strengths and weaknesses. However, these moments are painful but crucial to my growth as an artist. This is why my blog even features "rants" posts as a memento for the future:

I have recorded my introspective observations and affirmations in:

I have set up a specific category to track my progress in learning and experimenting with darkroom techniques:

I do my best to maintain an ongoing dialogue with the contemporary art scene wherever I go (not all the exhibitions I’ve visited are recorded on the blog, just the ones that most relate to my work). For example:

I've been trying to write a post after visiting Marina Abramovic's exhibition at the Royal Academy and reading her autobiography, but I haven't been able to process it yet and to include it in this Assessment. I can honestly say that it was a transformative experience for me. I think there's a lot I still need to digest.

As mentioned in my Study Statement, I am aware of the challenges that my ambitious programme presents, and of the breadth of my theoretical research. Over time, as my practice evolves, the spectrum of my practice-based research will inevitably reduce and become more specific, deep and coherent.

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DOWNLOAD STUDY STATEMENT HERE: 1.     WORKING TITLE “IMMATERIAL MATTER (s)” -  Unveiling the contradictions of perception through material manipulation "For matter to be alive, it must be contradictor


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