T.O.P. Lecture with Marsha Bradfield

Out of the entire T.O.P. unit, this has probably been the most useful part, I feel I gained more out of this one lecture than I have these past 3 odd months of ‘group work’.

I arrived slightly late to the lecture but it was more about social, political and critical aspects of her practice which encouraged me to think about my social, political and critical position as an artist and how this is an influence in my practice. I never thought of my practice as being something political or critical but the more I thought about it, I realised that I am in fact being highly critical of my upbringing, gender, racial and cultural issues which is naturally, where is becomes political.

In essence, I’m criticising inequalities and differences by trying to bind polar opposites together to create value consensus. For example, with gender, I’m a female artist who wants to make really robust and work that has been said to look ‘particularly masculine.’ OR with culture and my upbringing, males are highly favoured and coming from an Indian family, it’s not the done thing to be studying Art because we’re encouraged to study ‘more academic’ subjects such as medicine or law. In terms of black vs. white, this relates to not just the uniting of races but, I’ve always known black to be read as a dark, evil and scary colour and white associated with goodness, purity and innocence. I don’t agree with the connotations of black because I genuinely believe without darkness, you cannot find light. The opposites thrive off one another… coexist. But Mo said something to me which really stuck with me and that’s along the lines of, ‘In Western culture, we are made to believe that there is a more dominant component in binary opposites, one will always out do the other yet they cannot survive without one another.’ This was when discussing my ideas on gender and how this plays a role in my practice.

There are other themes, nature vs. man made being an evident one but in realising some of the themes I’m exploring politically and critically, it’s ignited a ‘fire in my belly.’ Now I feel like I know what I’m searching to achieve in my practice I’m becoming extremely motivated to create even more.

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