237130 A1 Wk3 Task #3 Third Draft 23/3.

Explain why the processes of looking closely and thinking critically about visual texts are important to art and design practices

Draft 3:

The practice of art and design is about making conscious decisions towards the creation of visual texts. Unlike written text, the language of visual texts is enigmatic. The way a visual text is read depends largely on the world view of the individual. Contextualisation is an important process necessary to gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of the text.

Contextualisation is a fundamental process in thinking critically and looking closely at visual texts relating to art and design practices. The way each individual reads a visual text is a reflection of their own subjective reality. An individual’s world view consists of their existing knowledge and experiences and influences how they read a text (Mirzoeff 11). What we see is what we have been conditioned to see. A person’s world view can limit their understanding and perception of a visual text. This means that visual texts can be manipulated to suit different audiences. However, the process of contextualisation allows us to move past our individual interpretations and see different perspectives. Contextualisation is important to art and design practice as it helps us to understand why the text was made, who it was made for and under what circumstances (Clarke 25). Contextualisation is important as it ‘breathes new life’ into a work (reading texts).

The meaning and purpose of a visual text can be determined from an analysis of the text. When analysing the visual texts at a bookshop and the Wellington City library, signage at the bookshop had a branding focus whereas signage at the library was focused on functionality. The differences between the two were observable through colour, type, repetition and placement. The analysis of visual texts is important in an art and design practice as it shows how subtleties significantly alter the audience’s interpretation. It is important to analyse other aspects of visual texts which can impact it’s interpretation such as the location and environment (Working with visual images). The way we view a piece of art in a public space such as Te Aro park will differ from viewing a visual text in the formal setting of a gallery. These locations convey different connotations and associations which can be revealed through further analysis of the text.

Another process of looking closely and thinking critically important to art and design practices is creative thinking. Creative thinking is essential to the generation of new thoughts and ideas. This is a form of lateral thinking, being open to ‘new perspectives and possibilities’ (beginning university critical thinking46). Societies are conditioned to accept common beliefs or paradigms passed down from generation to generation without question. (beg uni critical thinking). An example of this in art design practice is the persistence of cultural reference demonstrated by the use of the papyrus plant as a symbol in ancient Egyptian architecture. (ref lecturer). Accepted practices and beliefs can become subconsciously or consciously engrained in us. Thinking creatively about new ideas and practices is necessary in the progression of art and design. We have to be able to think laterally and question commonly accepted ideas. Critical thinking is about determining ‘what is true’ (Critical thinking beginning uni)

To think about a visual text critically is to consider it actively and engage with it. (Annals, Cannane, and Cannane 15). Processes of contextualisation, analysis and creative thinking are essential ways of looking closely and thinking critically about visual texts in art and design practice.

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237130 A1 Wk3 Task #3 Second Draft 23/3.

Explain why the processes of looking closely and thinking critically about visual texts are important to art and design practices

Draft 2:

Contextualisation is a fundamental process in thinking critically and looking closely at visual texts relating to art and design practices. The way each individual reads a visual text is a reflection of their own subjective reality, limiting their understanding and perspective of the text. Their background of experiences, knowledge and beliefs are influencing the way they see and understand the text. Seeing is not believing, believing is seeing. What we see is what we have been conditioned to see. Just as humans can recognise faces in inanimate objects, we are conditioned to see things that are familiar or that involve an evolutionary instinct. Our own individual realities limit us in how we perceive visual texts. It is therefore imperative to use contextualisation to help us to see different perspectives. Contextualisation involves investigating the background of a text, allowing us to understand why it was made, who it was made for and under what circumstances.

Analysis of a visual text reveals its meaning and purpose. When comparing the sites of Arty Bees Book store and Wellington City Library, analysis of visual texts such as signage, displays and use of space allowed the viewer to better understand the sites as a whole. A thorough analysis of nuances in the visual texts contributed to an understanding of the sites function and identity. Signage at Arty Bees focused on branding and identity through the use of colour, type and repetition. In comparison, signage at the City Library focused on functionality through materials and placement. Another example of reading a place as a visual text is reading the architecture of buildings and what this tells us about the significance and purpose of the building. The visual language of the neo-classical architecture of Parliament building in Wellington implements power structures. (Patricia Thomas lecture).

Another process of looking closely and thinking critically important to art and design practices is creative thinking. Creative thinking is essential to the development of thoughts and ideas. This is a way of lateral thinking, being open to ‘new perspectives and possibilities’ (beginning university critical thinking). As individuals we are conditioned by our upbringings and surroundings creating the perspective in which we view the world. Societies are also conditioned to accept common beliefs or paradigms passed down from generation to generation without question. An example of this is the persistence of cultural reference demonstrated by the use of papyrus as a symbol of structure and strength in ancient Egypt. (ref lecturer). The use of building houses from this plant developed into building stone columns designed to replicate its form. This shows how we can consciously or subconsciously pick up beliefs and ideas that become engrained in us. It is for this reason that we have to be able to think laterally and question the ideas we instinctively believe to be true.

237130 A1 Wk3 Task #3 First Draft 23/3.

Draft 1: 

Explain why the processes of looking closely and thinking critically about visual texts are important to art and design practices

Contextualisation is a fundamental process in thinking critically and looking closely at visual texts as our own subjective realities limit our understanding and perspective of a text. The way each individual reads a visual text is a reflection of their own subjective reality. This means that their background of experiences, knowledge and beliefs are influencing the way they see and understand the text. Seeing is not believing, believing is seeing. There is a reason why a devout muslim will not experience a sighting of Christ. What we see is based off of what we believe and have been conditioned to believe. Our own individual realities limit us in how we perceive visual texts. It is therefore imperative to use contextualisation to help us to see different perspectives. Contextualisation involves investigating the background of a text, allowing us to understand why it was made, who it was made for and under what circumstances.

In order to think critically and look closely at a visual text we have to analyse the visual text. To analyse a visual text is to inspect something closely to determine what it means or implies. (Beginning university; critical thinking). This involves understanding the purpose and motives of the text. When comparing the sites of Arty Bees Book store and Wellington City Library, analysis of visual texts such as signage, displays and use of space allowed the viewer to better understand the sites as a whole. While the purpose of each site was clear, a more detailed analysis of nuances in the space revealed how the use of visual texts contributed to the way the sites functioned. Signage at Arty Bees had a greater focus on branding and identity whereas signage at the City Library had a greater focus on functionality. Another example of reading a place as a visual text is reading the architecture of parliament building in Wellington and ‘the classical visual language employs power structures’ Patricia Thomas lecture.

Another process of looking closely and thinking critically important to art and design practices is creative thinking. creative thinking is essential to changing the ways we think about and respond to things. This is a way of lateral thinking, being open to ‘new perspectives and possibilities’ (beginning university critical thinking). we are conditioned in many ways as an individual, shaped by our upbringings and experiences to see things in certain ways. this also occurs on a larger scale as a society through things such as paradigms – accepted beliefs which aren’t questioned. certain cultures and societies form beliefs and ideas that go unquestioned or passed on from generation to generation. For example the lotus as a symbol of structure and power in ancient egypt shows the persistence of cultural reference. (ref lecturer). this shows how we can consciously or subconsciously pick up beliefs and ideas that become engrained in us. it is for this reason that we have to be able to think laterally and question the ideas we have always believed to be true.

237130 A1 Wk3 Task #2 Writing Response 23/3.

Walker, Sheilagh. “Chapter seven: Conclusion. Notes to myself: Writing from the gut” Kia tau the rangimārie: Kaupapa Māori theory as a resistance against the construction of Māori as other. Auckland University: Unpublished Masters thesis (excerpt), 1996. 153-154. Print.

Comprehension

In this excerpt Walker reveals her feelings of isolation and frustration as a Maori in a eurocentric education system. Walker struggles to maintain her Maori identity in this Pakeha system. There is an internal struggle between being a voice for a heavily underrepresented Maori population, representing her cultural ideologies and beliefs and conforming to the Pakeha dominated system. Reminding the reader that writing is not a traditional part of Maori culture, her work is unlikely to reach the Maori audience it was intended for.

The Author’s Voice

The excerpt is deeply personal and is written with conviction and passion. Writing from personal experience, Walker’s writing expresses her intense frustrations. Her voice is personal yet also political as it addresses the inequalities of Maori in a Pakeha system described through her personal experiences.

Walker uses personal pronouns throughout the excerpt drawing the reader into the writing. This is reinforced by her use of the imperative in paragraph four. I approached this text with some hesitancy. However, after seeking clarification on some of the Maori terms, the text was easy enough to understand. The excerpt does shine Pakeha in a negative light, however, to take a defensive stand as a Pakeha would be to deny the presence of existing inequalities between Maori and Pakeha in New Zealand. Rather, this text was interesting in that it shed light on a Maori perspective which is so underrepresented in New Zealand literature and history.

237130 A1 Wk3 Task #1 Writing Response 23/3.

Viewing a visual text without context provides more questions than answers. Context provides the setting and background to the text allowing the viewer to understand it’s relevance, importance and significance. Context is important to looking and thinking critically about a visual text as it allows for a greater understanding and appreciation of the text.

237130 A1 Wk2 Task #4 Visual Text Analysis 15/3

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Shand, Rosa. Arty Bees Bookstore. Photograph.
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Shand, Rosa. Arty Bees Bookstore. Photograph.

The sign in the front window to the right of the entrance at Arty Bees books attracted my attention. I liked the positioning of the bold yellow text against the grayscale image. The sign I was told has been in the window for at least 5 years. Intended to draw people into the store the sign features an unknown young woman holding a mug. I enquired as to who this women was, a question which apparently puzzles the store employee also. The body language of this mysterious women is interesting. I interpreted the arm crossing her body as defensive rather than welcoming. It’s position allows visitors to process the sign before they get to the door. It provides the viewer with more information, informing the viewer of what kind of books they might find as well as their point of difference – selling pre loved books.

237130 A1 Wk2 Task #3 Comparing and Contrasting 15/3

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Shand, Rosa. Arty Bees Bookstore. Photograph. Cohesive branding at Arty Bees shown by the consistency in colour and type in the window signage and signage in the background.

The main difference I noticed was the branding. Arty Bees had a strong sense of branding with consistencies in colour, type and logos which showed through in their signage inside and outside the store. The city library however, had no real sense of branding and used an array of colours, signage and typography. The presentation of the books was also a subtle but significant difference. At the bookshop, the books immaculately lined the shelves with all of the spines sitting neatly side by side. At the library however, the books were much more carelessly place back onto the shelf. Arty Bees had much more of a focus on retail and therefore presentation and branding while the library was much more about purpose and function. Community was a big focus of each site, both including community noticeboards and wanting to add value to the community. Cohesive branding at Arty Bees shown by the consistency in colour and type in the window signage and signage in the background.

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Shand, Rosa. Wellington City Library. Photograph. Cohesive branding at Arty Bees shown by the consistency in colour and type in the window signage and signage in the background.
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Shand, Rosa. Wellington City Library. Photograph. Cohesive branding at Arty Bees shown by the consistency in colour and type in the window signage and signage in the background.

237130 A1 Wk2 Task #2 Field Trip Site Description and Analysis 15/3

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Shand, Rosa. Wellington City Library. Photograph.

Wellington City Library is a spacious 3 story public library located on Victoria Street by the waterfront. Designed for the general public of Wellington, the three story building is flooded with natural light from large windows on every floor and a sky light in the centre of the building above the escalators. There is a strong sense of community as visitors of all ages can be seen making use of the library. Community notice boards display an array of information and posters. Seemingly infinite numbers of book shelves line the floors with variations in style, colour and height.

There is not a strong sense of branding; signage is often varied and inconsistent. In the case of the many laminated coloured paper signs, there is often an unprofessional look to it. Being a community building this adds a personal feel rather than a commercial, retail feel. There are numerous signs of varying styles pointing out each section including illuminated blue neon signs in a handwritten font as well as perspex signs with a blue gradient and black type. I’m not sure if there is a purpose to the various signage but the combination adds to the character of the building. It is surprisingly noisy as the chatter from the cafe and children’s areas builds on top of the constant hum of escalators. The noise diminishes gradually the deeper or higher into the building you go.

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Shand, Rosa. Wellington City Library. Photograph.
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Shand, Rosa. Wellington City Library. Photograph.
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Shand, Rosa. Wellington City Library. Photograph.
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Shand, Rosa. Wellington City Library. Photograph.

 

 

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Patel, Briar. Photograph.

237130 A1 Wk2 Task #1 Field Trip Site Description and Analysis 12/3

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Shand, Rosa. Arty Bees BookstorePhotograph.

Arty Bees Books is a family-run, independent bookstore located on Manners Street. It’s main purpose is to sell both second hand and new books to the local community. Eye catching, cohesive branding including a website, signage outside and inside the store, window displays and street signs announce this to the public.

Started in 1988, by a 60 year old ‘redundant’ worker and flying instructor of WW1, the business quickly grew into Wellington’s largest retailer of preloved and new books. The business is wholeheartedly a community business with a passion for Wellington, the people and the environment. They believe in supporting the local community and contributing a certain uniqueness to central Wellington. Their branding predominantly uses a warm yellow with a contrasting navy blue. A charismatic black and white graphic logo of a bee contributes to it’s uniqueness. The branding is bold, yet unthreatening. The store furnishings including an assorted array of chairs, stools, ladders and bookshelves were not flashy or sleek, merely purposeful and tidy. With over 90000 titles stocked, the store was far more established than I had imagined and from 5:00 to 6:00 pm on a Friday night, it was quietly buzzing. Music played softly whilst a steady stream of seemingly loyal customers trickled in, through and out of the store. The greatest source of noise coming only from in depth discussions between staff and customers both young and old.

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Shand, Rosa. Arty Bees Bookstore. Photograph.
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Shand, Rosa. Arty Bees Bookstore. Photograph.
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Shand, Rosa. Arty Bees Bookstore. Photograph.
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Shand, Rosa. Selfie at Arty Bees. Photograph.

237130 A1 Wk1 Task #4 Writing Response 9/3

Response to Wallace, Andrew, Tony Schirato, and Phillippa Bright. ‘Critical Thinking.’ Beginning University: Thinking, Researching and Writing for Success. St Leonards, N.S.W.: Allen & Unwin, 1999. 45-50. Print.

At the beginning of the reading the author talks about how university in general is a lot about critical thinking. I found it interesting to read about how students aren’t often aware or conscious of the methods of thinking they are utilising. When I thought about critical thinking I thought about it more in contemporary situations, thinking critically about new information or practices. Therefore, it was especially interesting to me to read about paradigms in relation to critical thinking, sparking a lot of thought.

The author’s tone is clear, concise and authoritative. The use of personal pronouns such as ‘you’ and ‘we’ makes the writing more personal as they are giving advice to university students. This made me as the reader think about what the author was saying in a personal context, relating it to my life. At the beginning of the reading the author’s voice seemed mildly patronising although this did not continue. The text was easy to understand as the writing was concise and straightforward. The use of historical references to Sun Tzu’s book The Art of War and the use of the word ‘civilisation’ by British in the 1800s helped to convey the author’s main points.