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Please note that the Sustained Investigation and the Range of Approaches sections below are from two different students’ portfolios.  

Sustained Investigation (Concentration) Statement

  1. My concentration is abandoned objects in textile mills. I became interested by looking at different textures in architecture, such as rust, chipped paint and dirt. By exploring textile mills in my community, I discovered the artistic color and texture that could be discovered in these decaying giants that once supplied a way of life for so many people in my community.
  2. I began my focus as an exploration of architecture. I was intrigued by the textures of old door knobs and other rusted objects (Images 1, 2, 3, and 4). By exploring abandoned textile mills in my community for inspiration, I discovered I wanted to focus on objects that mill workers left behind (Images 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, and 12). I wanted to capture a sense of decay and abandonment by using the muted colors, rust (Image 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, and 8), and dirty surfaces (Images 6, 8, and 12). I incorporated a broad range of mark-making using a large bristled brush to portray the chipping paint (Images 1, 8, 10). I used a scumbling technique to soften the surfaces (Image 6, 9, 11 and 12), and create a sense of dusty surfaces (Images 9, 10, 7, and 12).  The quality of lines, or more specifically the weight of lines on the wooden surfaces, tile, and brick was used to create a sense of depth (Images 8, 9, 10 and 11). I used highlights and shadows to render the various objects (Images 1, 4, 10, 11 and 12) that were left behind. Through my artwork I have represented the deteriorated emptiness this lost industry has brought to my community.

Rationale for Score

  • This series is a good sustained investigation; the works address the stated topic through their subject matter. Some clear decision-making and discovery are evident. Initially, the works demonstrate a clear decision to focus on the textures of architectural details. As the work evolves and shifts to the building interiors, spatial structures and compositions become more complex.
  • The series demonstrates some transformation and growth. This aligns with the statement’s account that the focus evolved from rusty surfaces to objects abandoned by workers when textile mills closed. Despite the problems with perspective in images 10 and 12, those images are more evocative than early works in the series. This is, even more, the case with images 8 and 11; the simpler spatial representations allow the objects to convey the sense of abandonment clearly.
  • Technical competence is adequate, with growth evident in some pieces. Images 1 and 4 provide an example of growth in technical competence; each work depicts a doorknob, but the form of the knob and the space around it are more clearly articulated in image 4 than in image 1. In image 1 the texture is created through visible mark making. In image 4 the texture of both the doorknob and the plate is competently implied. The articulation of space is handled with variable success. In image 6, for example, the perspective is awkward. The illusion of space is more convincing when it is primarily based on the representation of objects, as in image 8.

You can also download these images and score rationale as a PDF portfolio. Please use Internet Explorer or Safari to open the link. 

Rationale for Score

  • The work shows a good investigation of varying visual concerns and approaches. The approaches change as the choice of medium varies. For example, in images 2 and 6, paint is used in a loose, gestural manner. On the other hand, line is used as a drawing element to define hard-edged shapes in the two cut-paper works, images 3 and 12. The two digital paintings (images 7 and 11) also vary in their approach to mark-making. Incorporation of text in images 10 and 11 brings in an additional conceptual approach.
  • The variety of intentions that are encompassed within this body of work includes a range of success. Image 5 is notable for the combination of drawn action in the figure that is mirrored by loose blue marks in the negative space. In contrast to the full-page figure in image 5, image 2 attempts to use color for emphasis of the small figure. In image 1, the composition with the bird’s beak ending at the edge of the corrugations draws attention to the materials used. Image 8 appears to be intended as a more symbolic work as evidenced by the circular design and use of pattern in the central image and the corners of the page.
  • The work demonstrates good technical competence and use of materials. The two works in ink (images 5    and 8, discussed above) use the medium in quite different ways that serve the content of each work. In contrast, the use of charcoal in image 4 is less convincing because the form of the owl is uncertain, and the ground space is incompletely considered. Two of the most successful works are images 5 and 8, in both of which ink is used effectively. In image 5, the figure is rendered well. Ink marks are used to create very dark values; in some places, the direction of the marks also creates patterns. This use of ink makes the figure look three-dimensional. Ink is handled differently in image 8. Here, the line quality is delicate. Some sense of dimension is created, but the space is shallow. The diagrams in two of the corners lend some mystery as to the meaning and function of the object.
  • As a group, the works in this section are not repetitive, though they are uneven in their level of accomplishment. Some of the work is strong, some good, some moderate. The level of accomplishment is good overall.

You can also download these images and score rationale as a PDF portfolio. Please use Internet Explorer or Safari to open the link.