Questions to ask yourself to help you reflect on an art project for your arts research

Love it or hate it? Reflecting on our experience of art, with a wide lens, can help us gain awareness of its success or failures. As well as its impact on the people who view it. 

Questions to ask yourself to help you reflect on an art project for your arts research

What do you think of the art project or experience you saw? Did you love it? Did you hate it as much as marmite? Maybe you reflect on your art experiences by thinking about what you like and don’t like. It's a useful place to start. But there are other ways we can reflect on art projects to help us understand the art context and its impact on the world. 

These questions will help you reflect on the impact of an art project; whether you're running it, participating in or reviewing it. 

  • What were the artist's intentions? 

What were the artist's intentions compared to the success of the project? This may be hard to judge. Sometimes, it’s easy to understand what the artist hoped to achieve, or the messages they were sharing. You can use this to reflect on whether you think their art project achieved this or not. 

  • What’s the arts context?

What have you seen that’s like this project? Can you recognise their artistic influences and inspirations? This could be a genre of film, the history of a play or a style of art. What’s happening at a local, national and worldwide level that may affect the impact or the making of this piece? You may need to do research or dig into what others have reflected on the project. 

  • Read reviews 

Check out what the press and media have to say about the project. If it's a local project, find out what other audience members think. Ask your friends and family to reflect and try to pinpoint the why behind their thought processes. 

  • How did the audience react?

This may be easier to judge if you’re watching a live show or at a gallery. You can sense how others are reacting by looking online:. For example, you can read the comment sections, look it up on Twitter or do an internet search for the project. Is your reaction different or like others? Why might that be? 

  • What worked well?

What aspects of the project did you get lost in or inspired by? This could be an element of the production, an idea within the project or the artist as a person. 

  • What’s the lasting impact? 

It’s fine to be emotive or sentimental about this. What’s the feeling, thought or idea you’re left with? Did it make you want to take action on something? Is it one you remember for a long time or forget about tomorrow?

  • How can you incorporate what you’ve learnt into your own arts practice?

Try to be objective when thinking about what they could have done differently. It’s not about what you would prefer to see, it's also about how that change affects the perception of the art project. What would you change about it, and most importantly, why? Take some time to reflect on your learnings and how you can use this in your own arts practice. 

Header Image Credit: Photo by Liza Summer

Author

Nici West

Nici West Voice Team

Nici is the an editor for Voice and a freelance communications consultant and copywriter. She loves all things books, theatre, music, art, visiting other countries, knitting and sometimes attempts to make YouTube videos. Alongside Voice she writes and edits through her own pursuits.You can occasionally find her running marathons dressed as a black dog.

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