4. Contextual Studies

This part should help you to develop skills in research and in critical awareness and analysis.  The projects are designed to enable you to make a personal response to some of the key figures in twentieth century textiles and engage with particular movement in fine art and design, craft revivals or simple the spirit of the age – in other word, to go beyond ‘I like it’ or ‘I don’t like it’ by understanding the contextual background to a particular piece of work.

Most of this chapter will be print outs of information I’ve researched on the internet and written work.  I’ve been unable to have access to any books on the artists I need to research as Central Library here in Liverpool is closed until the beginning of 2013 as it undergoes refurbishment.  I’ve used the Liverpool city council website to see if any books are available at any other libraries in the city but there don’t appear to be many.  I’m surprised by how much I’ve been able to find on the internet though.

I’ll put links to any sites that have videos or if possible embed any that I find on separate pages to show that I have done the research.

Project 1

Stage One: Research

  • Margaret MacDonald Mackintosh (1864-1933)
  • Leon Bakst (1866-1924)
  • Ethel Mairet (1872-1952)
  • Anni Albers (1899-1924)
  • Lucienne Day (1917-2010)
  • Magdalena Abakowicz (born 1930)
  • Zandra Rhodes (born 1940)
  • Judy Chicago (born 1939)
  • Issey Miyake (born 1938)
  • Tracey Emin (born 1963)

Stage Two: An in-depth study

Choose just one of the artists or designers from the list and make a more in-depth study of their work and the issues related to it.  This should take the form of an illustrated essay of not more than 2,000 words.

Stage Three: An analytical study

Choose 2 pieces of work representative of two different artists or designers you have researched.

Project 2

Stage one: Research six artists or designers

Create your own list of six artists or designers from the beginning of the 20th c up to the present day.

  • Phyllis Baron and Dorothy Larcher – they worked together so classing these as one
  • Ossie Clark
  • Celia Birtwell – she worked with Ossie Clark but is well known in her own right
  • Alexander McQueen
  • Yinka Shonibare
  • Grayson Perry

I have to admit I’ve not been looking forward to this part of this module.  I did some essay writing when I did Art and its Histories with the OU a few years ago but it wasn’t something that came easily to me.


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