The formative essay I wrote in term one seemed much easier to write than my dissertation proposal. I felt I had a lot of knowledge and I felt more relaxed about writing an ‘essay’ than a ‘dissertation proposal’. My overall grade was a steady ‘good’, which usually means a 2:1. I was pleased with this mark as I tried hard to get as much research done and wrote the best essay I could which will hopefully help my dissertation. My formative essay was based on, ‘A Discussion on the Emergence of the Feminist Art Movement, from the 1970’s; with Influential Feminist Artists and Artwork Discussed’. In year one, I had a satisfactory mark for my overall grade in constellation so I feel I’ve improved already. Once I had received feed- back from my formative essay, I began to think about my summative dissertation proposal.
The summative essay will be a 5000-word dissertation proposal with an overview of what will be discussed. A literature review, this will be the main bulk of my dissertation proposal and will help me when I write my actual dissertation. It must be a minimum of 2000 words. The proposal will also have a research plan. This is a plan of what form my dissertation will take. The bibliography is for the books used when writing the dissertation proposal, and also books I intend to read for my dissertation.
I then had to decide on what to write my dissertation on. This was difficult for me as I was worried about self-plagiarising myself when submitted through Turnitin, and so I wanted to change the dissertation topic from my formative essay. One of the criticisms I received was to narrow the essay down as I talked about so many different artists and different years of feminism. I decided to base it on Louise Bourgeois’ life and her artworks. I recently visited New York and saw her exhibition in MoMA. I am very interested in her work and my subject artwork has been inspired by Louise Bourgeois as I am looking at maternal bonds and the family. I started off by gathering books and reading articles on Louise Bourgeois’ artwork. I found it difficult to find books with a lot of theory in as they mostly had images of her artwork but no information. There aren’t many online articles that I found useful either.
I had my first tutorial with Jon, I had done a small amount of reading into Louise Bourgeois so I knew a small amount of information to tell him about Bourgeois and some ideas to start thinking about. The tutorials were only 10 minutes long so I felt I had to cram everything into a short amount of time. Even though this could be stressful if I forgot to ask a question, I could always just email Jon. I also found it efficient to have the tutorials every 2 weeks as it would give me a time slot and motivation to get things done in time for my next tutorial. In the tutorials, I would discuss concerns and ask questions about the proposal. My initial thoughts on the 5000-word proposal was that I would never be able to complete it.
As I have been writing my proposal, I have realised that writing about Louise Bourgeois would have been extremely difficult to bring in an argument. I could argue about what I think of the artworks and bring in argument from other critics or articles, however, there is no substantial argument. This worries me as I feel it would be a boring read for my dissertation and unmotivating to write. I know that it was a stupid thing for me to do, but I decided to change my topic of dissertation through the Easter holidays to Feminism in Art. I felt like I had wasted my tutorials, however, it was worth it as I feel I have much more to talk and argue about. I can extend on my formative essay on feminism in art, and focus on less artists, but in much more detail. Also different artists, which will be useful for my dissertation. I have talked about the emergence of feminism in art and how it has changed and developed since the 1920s to present day. I have discussed artists such as Mary Cassatt and Tracey Emin.
I feel it has been such a mission to complete and such a stressful essay as it is summative, however, at times I felt that I was dragging sentences out to make up the word count. I didn’t want to go into a lot of information as I wanted to make sure I had something to write about in my dissertation, without self-plagiarising myself. I only made it to just over 4,500, 10% less than the expected 5000 words.
I used most of my reading from the first essay, but used more books on feminism and the artists discussed. I feel my dissertation proposal is so much better now than what it was when talking about Louise Bourgeois. I feel much calmer about my actual dissertation and the preparation needed to write it.
Overall, I feel this dissertation proposal has been very hard to write. I have changed my mind a lot with the ideas and artists to use which has been bad organisation from my behalf. I feel I have done a large amount of research, and improved my knowledge of feminism in art. I am nervous about writing the dissertation, the thing that I find most daunting is the word count, and also the reading.
As a next step, I need to be prepared for my dissertation, with plans, research, theory and arguments in place and ready to use. After my summative essay is submitted, I will continue to work towards my dissertation and research over the summer to begin writing when advised. This understanding of feminism in art will is also be useful to me as a practioner as I am approaching my final subject artwork exhibition, and am making work which has been inspired by Louise Bourgeois.