Studio Practice 3301 – Crit

Image of my final crit

For my crit, I decided to present a cluster of cows arranged in a regular way and a cluster of sheep presented in an irregular way. I did this to see what my peers thought was the most effective and to determine what route I should take my work next or develop towards.

Cluster of cows

This is the cluster of cows I presented. Due to a bit of a rush getting work finished for the crit, I didn’t have time to get them hung up professionally and so I used double sided tape which was a mistake on my behalf, I should know better by now but stress took over. I also wish I had used a spirit level as I can notice in the pictures how uneven and slated the pieces are. I wanted to create a uniform pattern to experiment as the layout of my work last term was very uniform. It was harder than I expected to arrange the diamond and triangular paintings as they were all different sizes which made mounting them quite difficult and so I feel going forward that I need to be more creative in terms of displaying them.

Cluster of sheep

This is the cluster of sheep I presented. For these paintings, I wanted them to be completely slanted and scattered to explore layouts snd hopefully get feedback on what works or doesn’t work. I arranged them in a way so that the lines of the enclosures in each piece connected and so it created a link between each piece. I included the painting of three sheep in one enclosure to see if people would feel more sorry for the sheep being cramped in a small space together or separately.

Feedback of my work from crit forms:


  • 2 separate works
  • Bold colours, contrasting colours, bold lines, solid colours
  • Caged animals, animals in captivity
  • Mostly unnatural colours
  • Farm animals, meat
  • Layout on left really inventive
  • Cows and sheep
  • Farming
  • Surreal
  • Animal paintings
  • Small scale mdf
  • Not displayed uniform
  • Patterned layout
  • Animal portraits in unusual colours
  • Mosaic type presentation
  • Triangles, squares and rectangles

Relating work to other artwork/contextual sources?:

  • Pop Art – colours used and the combinations/sequences of paintings
  • Andy Warhol pop art
  • Stained glass windows
  • Franz Marc
  • Consider taking work down lino cutting due to the blocks of colour used
  • Henry Moore’s sheep drawings from observation

Questions about the work, feelings:

  • Makes someone feel like the animals are locked in as some of the animals’ eyes look sad and they are staring. Is this the intention of the artist?
  • Why are the cows uniform and the sheep scattered?
  • Is the colour suggesting something about how people feel about animals in captivity? (it’s unnatural) or the meat industry?
  • Someone likes the different shaped works, could there be more and a bigger sequence?
  • Do the colours mean anything?
  • Why the arrangement of triangles?
  • Since the animals are confined, it makes you question if farming animals is ethical
  • Why the colour choice?
  • Is there a reason why only cows and sheep are shown?

Feedback from Crit discussion:

  • Small painted mdf boards, layouts noticed – uniform one side, scattered on the other side
  • 2 separate paintings or 11 combined?
  • The cows are separated but the sheep touch in areas
  • Sheep/cows – different vocal points? cohesive pieces
  • Irregular shapes and unnatural colours – surreal, uncommon
  • Some of the paintings look like camera filters
  • Bright vivid colours show a happier side than black and white
  • The vivid colours used show a happier side but the animals gaze looks sad, contrast
  • Humorous, not reality
  • Cow side is more brutal through the uses of barbed wire
  • Sheep are more free, more subdued and pastel colours used
  • Cow paintings look like grids that are overlaid
  • Intimidation through animals staring at viewer
  • Cows reminded people of stained glass windows, mosaics, transformers, power rangers, birds, shaped like an animal
  • Not uniform, uneven, lacks precision
  • Explore my subject in lino print for blocks of colour
  • Zoom in on elements of a cow rather than just their faces
  • 3 sheep in one piece makes it look like a happy family – prefer them as individuals
  • Sheep look happier than cows – sheep are more free
  • Peta/animal rights
  • People feel strange about colour scheme, baffled by it. confused by it. Bad confusion, feels uneasy and takes away from actual painting
  • Purple cow painting most successful as it is simple but more complex way of painting
  • Shows how animals are more commercialized
  • Size is successful, no need to go any bigger as it will lose the confined aspect
  • Interested in seeing a whole wall of them grouped together, accurate depiction of a group of cows, herd on a wall
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Not about individual paintings, eyes move from one to another in a sequence
  • Colours, forms and shapes are important aspects of the work
  • Feel sorry for the animals – people can be ignorant, guilt trip, animals vs humans
  • Captures your attention, go in more, subtlety is important

Reflection of the crit:

Although initially I was happy with my crit, after the feedback I just felt that nobody understood my work and a lot of people didn’t like it even though I had worked from feedback on my previous terms work and where I was holding myself back. I feel that during my degree I have felt stuck and unsure of what to do, almost burnt out as I feel that the work I do is never enough and that I am always trying to please everyone but myself. I have to learn to change my view and just take it where I want to take it, criticism is there to help me develop and I just hope that I can pull myself together enough to get a good grade for my degree show. I will take all the feedback on board and try to improve my work as best as I can.

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