Constellations: Study skills Cath Davies-An approach to analysing visual and material culture.

Today we had a study skills session from Cath Davies and she showed us how to analyse and how to make an academic debate on almost any art work including our own. Bellow is some of the notes I made and knowledge I took from the session.

Analysis- is a meaning of the image and not a description. Connotations, cultural meanings (asking why?), possible meanings generated, symbolic meanings.

Academic debates theoretical underpinning of ideas and integrating them into case study analysis, reading up in the library, defining and comparing and contrasting research. Academic theory supports academic studies or challenge your claims in analysis column.

Cath’s columns makes academic analysis easy. The three columns are Describe where you simply describe what’s going on in the image, noting what is in front of you. The second column is analysis the possible meanings of what could be going on in the image and the final column is theory. Taking the possible meanings and concepts and researching and backing up your points with academic evidence found in the library and quoting the evidence. Bellow is an example, this is a work from Mariel Clayton.

Describe                                                     Analyse                                                     Theory

.Bowl                                                   .Consumption/Eating                                    .Eastern and western fusion

.Chopsticks                                          .East Asian (culture/Race)                            . Barbie

.Noodles                                               .Female Barbie doll with no head                 .feminism

.Dismembered doll in the bowl             .Western vs Eastern                                     (research these further for quotes)

.Feminist, beauty, perfection                         (academic research)

I really enjoyed this session as I felt it helped me learn a way in which I could represent an essay without looking too difficult. I liked Cath as a lecturer as she spoke loud and clear which helps because I sometimes struggle to hear and therefore fail to understand what is being said. I like to take a lot of notes so I can refer back to them as I haven’t got a very good memory. If I continue to struggle I will have to sit closer to the front and then I would be more alert of what’s in front of me.


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