Thinking about Thinking

Critical Thinking is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue, using questioning, arguments and conclusions to form objective, reasoned logical judgements that are well thought out and without bias.

Good Critical Thinkers are:

  • Rational, being able to think clearly and independently about what to do or believe.
  • Analytical, being able to carefully examine and interpret information to understand the logical connections between ideas what it represents and make an informed judgement.
  • Effective communicators, being able to interact and collaborate with others verbally and in writing to explain thinking, express opinions and share ideas to provide solutions to the given issue.
  • Creative, being able to recognize patterns in information, making abstract connections, predictions or determine new solutions.
  • Curious, being able to ask higher order, deeper, more meaningful questions require more developed thinking and more complex answers. Asking higher order questions can develop more abstract thinking and promote the justification of opinions, speculation and hypothesizing.
  • Open minded, being able to analyze information objectively and without bias.
  • Problem Solvers, being able to use questioning (Who, Where, When, What,Why and How) and logical reasoning to evaluate information and determine practical solutions.
  • Reflective, being able to think backwards in time to the root cause of the problem and forwards in time to the consequences of the solution.
  • Bigger Picture Thinkers, being able to break bigger problems into smaller components to create solutions that help to resolve bigger problem. When solutions emerge moving from problem identification to problem solving.

When critically thinking about a problem, it is essential to have good reasoning for your comments and judgements and form your beliefs or conclusions. A good way to critically think about an issue is to organize your information, develop and structure your reasoning, establish your arguments, consider the evidence, identify where assumptions have been made, evaluate any arguments and determine a conclusion.

When critically reading, analyzing a piece of text identify line of reasoning, critically evaluate line of reasoning, identify evidence in the text, evaluating the evidence, questioning surface appearances and assumptions, identifying conclusions and determining if the evidence supports the conclusions.

An argument is a set of statements (premises) that together comprise a reason for a further statement and a conclusion. A good argument has premises that make the conclusion likely to be true, where the argument supports the conclusion. Bad argument premises don’t support critical thinking.

Arguments can either be deductive or ampliative. A deductive argument is when the truth of the premises guarantees the truth of the conclusion. An ampliative argument is when the truth of the premises does not guarantee the truth of the conclusion. The conclusion is more probable.

When critically analyzing an artwork, it is not enough to simply describe an artwork. The descriptions of the formal elements must be contextualized so that to viewer can understand the influence that each element has on the work as a whole. Formal analysis is where we reflect on the context and meaning, analyze the subject matter, themes, issues, narratives, stories and ideas and look more closely at the form that the artist has produced, such as line, shape, colour, texture, composition, expression, content and meaning.

Those who effectively critically analyze artwork:

  • Describe the artwork, identifying styles and formal elements, genre, meaning and thinking about the artwork in a wider context.
  • Analyze the artwork, thinking about the composition and the relationships between the elements.
  • Interpret the artwork, looking at what the artwork is about, how it makes them feel, the mood of the artwork, what the artist was trying to say, identifying symbols, metaphors, context and meaning and thinking about what it means to them as a viewer.
  • Judge the artwork, reflecting on the strengths, weaknesses, the way the ideas are communicated, how the artwork is viewed in the wider community, likes, dislikes and learning.
  • Evaluate the artwork, reflecting on how the artwork has changed their perceptions, the level of technical, conceptual and composition skill, other qualities found and the effectiveness of the piece and what premise their judgements are based upon.


Research – Casting with Resin

Reading up on what to consider when using resin.

  • Releasing agent required where mould has potential to stick to resin.
  • Sample using Latex mould, however silicone rubber moulds will be stronger for repeat moulding.
  • Matt silicone moulds will give a matt finish – gloss silicone moulds a glossy finish
  • Casting moulds are better quality and more durable than baking moulds.
  • Read the instructions to know for sure what quantity of resin to mix to what quantity of hardener and how long it takes to cure
  • Be super accurate with measuring
  • Mix thoroughly – looking for a uniform colour
  • Choose the right resin
  • Get good at the basics first

Epoxy resin is:

  • best for beginners as it is the easiest to work with.
  • Has the longest shelf life
  • Most forgiving environmentally
  • Longest pot time
  • Sometimes cures with a yellow tine – check before you buy – the more colour free the more expensive.
  • Available as a doming resin which is thicker with extra surface tension, however more difficult to remove bubbles from.
  • Considered a soft resin meaning the casting can be dented.
  • Not suitable for polishing with a polishing wheel – it will not withstand the heat.

Clear Casting/ polyester/polyurethane resin

  • Generally cheaper than epoxy resin
  • Cures very hard with the hardness and clearness of glass
  • Can be polished with a buffing wheel and compound
  • Does not require recoating or a gloss spray to be shiny
  • General moisture insensitive – not affected by humidity.
  • Requires lots of ventilation.
  • Short pot time – generally 8 minutes – less than epoxy resin
  • Careful calculation of resin to hardener required (so many drops per 100ml)
    • Thin layers require more hardener to generate more heat to cure
    • For multiple layers, each layer adds to the heat effect meaning each layer requires less hardener than the one before.
  • Be aware of the end result at the beginning – measure the right amount of resin and hardener for your actual requirements.
  • Shelf Life is no more than six months which epoxy will last much longer.
  • Exposed Surface remains sticky after the resin has cured. This can be sanded off or sealed with resin sealer.
  • Likely to break if dropped.

Bibliography (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Apr. 2019]. (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 20 Apr. 2019].


Research – Lucas Samaras

My interest in Lucas Samaras is because of his Photo Transformations created by manipulating the wet dye on the poloroid photographic film. While the poloroid images are drying the surface is scratched, rubbed and scraped to disturb the image and create dramatic changes in the image presented.

A lot of his images are close up photographs of his own face, hands – yet others are elaborately presented theatrical scenes. Although these works are from the 1970’s they remain fresh and current with society of the present day’s compulsion towards selfie taking.


Schultz, C. (2018). LUCAS SAMARAS: Photo-Transformations. [online] The Brooklyn Rail. Available at: [Accessed 2 Apr. 2019].

The Met Museum (n.d.). Photo-Transformation, Lucas Samaras. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 Apr. 2019].

Camera-Less Photography

I decided to look further into the techniques of Camera-less photography. These techniques may have the potential to give me the essence of objects that once were there but no longer. They show an image that never really existed, from the light dark and shadows. Always an original and not made from a negative.

“Encountered as fragments, traces, signs, memories or dreams, they leave room for the imagination, transforming the world of objects into a world of visions.”

  • Chemigram: made in direct light through the manipulation of the surface of photographs using varnishes, oils or photographic chemicals for creative effect.
  • Digital C-print: using a digital printer, photographic paper is exposed to the red, green and blue lasers and then processed using traditional methods. A way of producing multiples for camera-less imagery.
  • Dye Destruction Print: made using direct positive colour paper, originally used for printing transparencies or negatives. This paper has three dyed primary colour emulsion layers, and on development the exposed dyes form the image.
  • Gelatin Silver Print: made when paper has been coated with gelatin and silver salts. The salts become dark on contact with light and the image is developed chemically.
  • Photogram: made from placing an object in contact with a photosensitive surface in the dark then exposing both to light.
  • Luminogram: made when light hitting the paper forms the image, like a photogram. Objects are placed between the light source and the paper but not on the paper.
  • Scanography: Using scanners to create images.
  • Found Photography: using your photographic vision to find and create are from images taken by others.
  • Sun Photography: Using the power of the sun to expose the image from objects placed on the light sensitive paper.

Notable artists are Floris Neusüss, Pierre Cordier, Garry Fabian Miller, Susan Derges, Adam Fuss.

  • Floris Neusüss who’s whole career was focussed on the Photogram.
  • Pierre Cordier founder of the Chemigram process.
  • Garry Fabian Miller developed an enlargement process linking plants and photographs.
  • Susan Derges focuses on the patterns of sound waves to the flow of rivers.
  • Adam Fuss, photogram artist.

Bibliography (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Baldwin G. (1991), Looking at Photographs: A Guide to Technical Terms Los Angeles and London (J. Paul Getty Museum in association with the British Museum Press)

Cooke, A. (2019). Two Ways to Improve Your Photography Without a Camera. [online] Fstoppers. Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2019]. (2019). Found photography. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Henry, D P. (2019) Cameraless Photography. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Kanfer, D. (2019). An Introduction to Photogram/Contact Printing. [online] Photo & Video Envato Tuts+. Available at:–photo-772 [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Kantor, J. (2015). Can a photographer be a photographer without a camera?. [online] QUORA.COM. Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2019].

Nadeau L. (1989) Encyclopedia of Printing, Photographic and Photomechanical Processes New Brunswick, NJ (Atelier Luis Nadeau)

(2019). Cameraless Photography…Scanner Art Photography… – Art, Photography, T-Shirts, Greeting Cards | Redbubble. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2019].

com. (2019). Things Merging And Falling Apart – Tatiana Gulenkina. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2019]. (2019). Camera-less photography: artists – Victoria and Albert Museum. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2019].

(2019). Creators. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2019].

com. (2019). Videos about “camera-less photography” on Vimeo. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2019].

(2019). Pierre T. Lambert. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 May 2019].

London Gallery Visits 2

Leake Street Arches

Street art at its best – a continually changing space where street artists present their work.

Hayward Gallery

Diane Arbus: A comprehensive collection of photographs from the early career of Diane Arbus, fifty of the 100 photographs have never been shown in Europe. Most of her images depict urban life in the 50’s and 60’s and she creates very striking photographs where the subject may be in the midst of city life – yet can appear almost solitary. No Photographs allowed unfortunately.

Kader Attia: An exhibition depicting over twenty years of the past twenty years and following several thematic strands.

Barbican Centre

Daria Martin – Tonight the World

I visited The Curve at the Barbican Centre to see the Daria Martin Exhibition Tonight the World where she has an atmospheric film re-enacting some of her grandmothers diary entries from a 35 year collection. She also uses Gaming Technology to explore the historical context where her grandmother had fled her homeland to avoid Nazi occupation.


London Gallery Visits

On arrival in London the day before the MA Fine Art Digital Low Residency, I spent some time at the V& A and the Saatchi Gallery before finding my accomodation.

V&A: Trajan’s Column

As I had some time to kill I decided to visit Trajan’s Column, this is an exhibit that always impresses me by the sheer scale of the work. Comprised of reliefs made from plaster and built up in sections they cover the outside of a brickwork column. The reliefs are each numbered so that they could be reassembled easily at the V&A. I have only seen the columns from above previously and it was a good opportunity for me to be on the ground looking up at the columns.

Saatchi: Black Mirror Art as Social Satire

Below are some of the pieces that we saw while at the Saatchi.

Full Circle by Georgii Uvs

Marriage by John Stezaker displays publicity shots of classic film stars spliced and overlapped with famous faces.

Endless Endless by Des Hughes – A polyester resin, iron powder, fibreglass, plastic and wood sculpture that resembles a prone figure.

Couch and From 2nd to Third by Roman Stanczak

After Louise by Wendy Meyer


Latex Observations

I spent some time re-discovering the use of latex as an artist medium. Below are some observations. 

  • Latex Paint can be thickened.
  • You cant apply latex over someone’s skin.
  • Contaminants interfere with the latex when curing, though as an artist this is probably of benefit.
  • Brush Latex on in thin layers – Ensure there are no air bubbles
  • Each layer takes approximately 30 minutes to dry
  • Four or Five Layers minimum, up to 10 for larger items.
  • Poured latex will take up to 24 hours to dry.
  • Use loosely woven fabric for reinforcement.
  • Don’t reinforce areas that need to stretch
  • If latex cures overnight subsequent layers may not bond properly
  • Cured latex is more resilient to the elements
  • Use anti-fungal powder to avoid mould.
  • If using a mold, a support stand (sand) may be required to keep the shape.
  • Plaster is the best casting medium but other casting mediums can be used.
  • A hardener or thickener can be used with latex.