Advent Calendar: 14

Hugely productive day today. I’ve spent the entire day at the Tate Library at Tate Britain doing research for my Cy Twombly project. Gosh I love research. I’ve so missed it – must try to keep it up after the degree is over. I’ve been gathering some useful general info on Twombly and having a look at his other works on paper to start building some ideas for how to approach my project and how to document it.

First thing I have discovered: Index cards are really annoying for anything other than short-term 100% text-based projects. I am ditching them in favour of a not-quite-A4 plain paper Moleskine – this will ensure I can carry around all my notes, make extra notes in margins and scribble/draw/paste stuff to generate ideas, all in the one place. I’d hoped to get a hard-cover one, but it seems Moley don’t make ‘em in the extra-large size *sigh*

Second thing I have discovered: Found a fascinating and massive book called Writings on Cy Twombly, which starts with early reviews of his work and goes through to long-form essars looking at his themes and processes, by way of anecdotes and poems and all sorts of things. It is massive – 300 pages and about 50cm tall, on nice-quality heavy paper with large margins. You know the sort of thing. Classic art book. I got through about 50 pages today, so that would work out as 6 trips to Tate to read the whole thing. Did some sums, looked it up on Amazon, and it is cheaper to buy this massive art book than to take the 6 train trips needed to read it at the library. Again. Madness.

Third thing I have discovered: Tate Britain do an excellent mocha in their vestibule cafe.

I’ve gathered a lot of info and am starting to build an impression of Twombly as a person and as an artist, but it’s kind of hard to express that yet here. Suffice to say: it took the whole day but was very useful.

Once the library kicked me out I went to see the Turner Prize exhibition. And OMG. Go and Google “Paul Noble artist” if you don’t already know his work. Gorgeous and fascinating.

After that I did a little Christmas shopping then went out to Stratford and had Brazilian barbecue for dinner with Djelibeybi. Very civilised. AND I got dried pears from Waitrose 🙂

On my train trips I’ve aso been starting to read Tony Buzan’s The Mind Map Book. Buzan apparently created the concept of the Mind Map, and as I found it just sitting on the shelf in the college library, I figured the start of a major research & composition project was as good a time as any to research some study skills. It’s very interesting! I like how he explores a little of how the brain works by way of introduction and talks about how standard note-taking bores our brains into forgetting the very thing we’re trying to remember. I’ll be interested to start applying some of his ideas to this project. For the moment, it’s sort of hard to apply because textual research kind of requires that you keep track of exact quotes, so there’s a lot of copying out rather than idea-generation. Still. All useful info and I’m sure it’ll come in handy soon.

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