Talking Out Loud: Reflective videos within textile practice
I want to share my thoughts on using video recordings as a useful tool in an active reflective practice. I will draw on my experiences as a tutor and as a textile designer and maker currently studying for an MA in Textile Design at the Royal College of Art (RCA).
Covid-19 shook the foundations of my studies and the way I look at my own textile practice. I had to adapt my working methods to explore the digital space opened up by the pandemic. This is something that the OCA does so well, and I realised that I could learn a lot from the students and colleagues I worked with.
In her blog post “Discussing and sharing the qualities of your work” (LINK: https://www.oca.ac.uk/weareoca/study-tips/discussing-and-sharing-the-qualities-of-your-work/ ) course leader Rebecca Fairley examines capturing thoughts and observations of physical work, in video format. This sparked a line of enquiry for my own practice when thinking about the methods I use for reflection. Historically, I have been a great fan of straightforward written annotation, combined in a separate notebook, that supports my physical textile practice through routine, informal reflection. I have shared a photo below to give you a sense of how this usually works for me. I like to use this space to question and take a step back from the work I am making.
Prompted by a tutor at the RCA and from the work that Rebecca did in supporting OCA students transition to digital assessment of work, I began to record myself talking about the practical work I was making. The videos below involve me talking about 2 samples from the second year of my MA study. In the first video I discuss a sample that best represented my project at the point of filming, in January 2021. The sample selected was not my most successful, but in reflection it was a pivotal moment in my project. Allowing the space to discuss why this sample was most representative yet to identify its shortcomings gave me a clear route to take next.
Reflective Video 1, January 2021, Amy Tidmarsh LINK: https://oca.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=eac62a6b-3037-4dbf-9afc-ad1400f24ba3
The second video captures me discussing a piece of work that I was rejecting. Deep down, I knew that this work didn’t successfully communicate my ideas, but at the time of making this recording, I was unsure why and reluctant to let it go. Through the process of recording myself reflecting on the work, I was able to identify why, and to let myself move on.
Reflective Video 2, January 2021, Amy Tidmarsh] LINK: https://oca.cloud.panopto.eu/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=a429117b-8ef7-49fa-9eda-ad1400f25134
Have you tried recording yourself talking about a piece of work? What things cropped up for you? What other methods do you find useful when needing to be critically reflective on the work you are making?
Featured image: Reflective Video Still, March 2021, Amy Tidmarsh