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Making Feedback Easier to Experience

One of the hardest things a maker has to experience is getting feedback on their work and to find a way to make this less nerve wracking AAS has been developing new critical feedback sessions.

Based on the Critical Response Process developed by choreographer Liz Lerman the sessions follow four very specific steps to generate critical responses about their work in a way that is meaningful and useful for the maker.

Each participant is asked to bring along work, which can be one object or a small group, and can be finished or work in progress. The maker is asked to consider in advance what they would like to get from the session, such as being able to discuss work they feel is not yet fully resolved or to test new ideas in development.

We asked jeweller Lucy Walsh (image of her work above) who took part in a session earlier this year at Craignish Village Hall in Ardfern what she felt about the experience and what difference it had made to her practice.

She described feeling nervous before the event as she was uncertain what to expect, however as soon as the session began she found the approach supportive and positive.

Lucy said, “It was lovely to be with a group of people in a similar position to me and to realise that we all have insecurities around the question of ‘am I good enough?’ Everybody was nervous before the process and buoyant afterwards. I think we all left the workshop with positive feedback and ideas about ways to move forward with our making”.

“The section of the Process when one has to listen while others give their general thoughts and feelings about the work was a fantastic thing to experience. The enthusiasm from the other makers was wonderful and their positive and helpful comments so useful. It felt empowering for me (and I am sure everyone felt the same) to have to accept that others really see value and beauty in my work”.

She also felt “It was interesting to think about and talk around other maker’s work – all in areas of applied art different to my own. I was able to apply a lot of what was discussed about other people’s work to my own. It was useful to be given another perspective”.

“It was a privilege to have facilitators with experience of art and craft work from outside our local scene and to receive feedback from them”.

“I’d definitely recommend taking part in a Critical Feedback workshop . Really valuable. No matter how experienced you are in your field I imagine it would still be useful to receive other perspectives on your works in progress.”

AAS have held a series of these sessions with Emergents, Fife Contemporary, Vanilla Ink and Ardfern. If you might be interested in hosting a critical feedback session do get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

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