Research & Enquiry Reflective Statement

This reflective statement will attempt to establish and analyze my methodology for this module. It will examine the ways I have developed solutions and explore the advantages and disadvantages encountered in the way I work. Some aspects of my method are similar to those put forward by Gillian Rose in Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials. Namely, Semiology – how images make meaning (Rose, 2011: 69) and Discourse Analysis – an exploration of how images construct views of the social world. (Rose, 2011: 140). In brief, my method of research involved four stages.

The first stage, information gathering and selection, identified and examined the work of several practitioners and visual artefacts. I found that I learnt more from reading than observation and my process of selecting sources depended on the depth of information and knowledge about a particular subject. Once I found that source to have the best explanation and references compared to other sources, I would then consider that to be a good source. I also found that reading about other artists’ experiences gave me a better understanding about process. I even went a step further in gathering information by attempting to contact two of the artists whose work I came across, Tim Gaze and Saki Mafundikwa. They wrote to me and provided very useful information. The second stage of the process, analysis, included the application of critical theory and debate. I considered context when looking at theories and examples. My research centered on ideas of a universal language that is gestural and typographic at the same time, therefore, a visual and theoretical analysis was undertaken of gestural and writing systems as well as asemic writing. This led to further ideas of Universality. The third stage, synthesis, focused on practical exploration and experimentation and the convergence of two or more areas in a creative way to generate meaning. Once I started the practical experiments I found it easier to draw connections between different things. The forth and final stage looked at potential applications of the visual outcomes generated. Two outcomes had the potential for signage, packaging as well as branding.

During my research I acquired a breadth of knowledge about a wide range of subjects which has given me the potential for making unexpected connections. While I had ideas relating to typography, there was not a specific visual outcome or goal in mind. It emerged as my research progressed. However, while my research has led me to some very interesting ideas, there were also challenges. I kept getting distracted by new research and became overwhelmed at times. As a result, this did not allow me time to focus my investigation and develop ideas to the extent that I wanted to. Despite this, I still developed a critical inquisitiveness which made me appreciate where my research stood in relation to theory and how practice is informed by research.


Rose, G. (2011) ‘Semiology: Laying bare the prejudices beneath the smooth surface of the beautiful’ and ‘Discourse analysis 1: text, intertextuality and context’ in Visual Methodologies: An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials. London: Sage Publications Ltd.


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