PDP Submissions: Martyn Woodward

Expressing the Unseen: Embodiment, Form and Art and Design

Martyn Woodward

Field; Collaborative.

“First impressions are everything”. I remember sitting and thinking about this saying when James Green and Ray introduced the collaborative apart of the term to us. If I am to be brutally honest, James and Ray didn’t seem very enthusiastic about what was to come so from then onwards it felt difficult to build up group enthusiasm.

One of my main weaknesses with the collaborative aspect of term had to be the connection with the two other girls in my group. Between, us we realised that we were all very different people who work and think and make in different ways which made it increasingly difficult to get our project under-way; sometimes this is something that people can feed off and work with in a group but unfortunately for us, it just didn’t click. So, in order to move past this, we had to make sure we worked even harder than we expected in order to stay connected to one another, and not let the clash get in the way of what we were capable of creating between us. This struggle continued throughout the course of the 8 weeks. However we manager to build a solid enough friendship to make sure our work did not slip; we did this by getting to know one another a lot more, personal life and hobbies and so on which made us feel much more relaxed and comfortable around each other.

If there is a strength I am confident that I managed to maintain throughout the course of the collaborative side, would be my organisation skills and also my communication. When we all met up with each other, it took some time for us to get into the swing of things. In order to get this feeling to pass I decided to act upon and suggest some idea’s to the girls that could benefit our work; for example after the first meeting, I suggested we all go away and create some sketches and return next week to compare. I then began to organise trips to certain buildings and also when we should meet next. I communicated clearly with the girls, and furthermore went on to make a Facebook group titled ‘Field’ where we could all join in on the conversations and also post photos of our work and the developments we have been making throughout the course.

This side of the term has taught me well. Although I was very hesitant at the beginning of this, and I probably didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped, but it has taught me and also prepared me well for what it may be like to work collaboratively in the future. Although it didn’t go so well this time, doesn’t mean it will always be like that in the future, but at least I have managed to experience what it is like to feel this way.


                I have to admit that I was a lot more shocked at how much I did actually enjoy constellation this term. First term, in my opinion, was quite difficult to enjoy. It was a long time to be sat down and spoke at for so long, for a group of people who feed off how interactive they love to be. Anyway, ‘Expressing the Unseen’ with Martyn Woodward was something else. Walking out of that first lecture was almost overwhelming everything that we had talking about and considered in that lecture room almost felt like it should have stayed in that lecture room like it was some big secret or some code we had cracked, and it honestly had changed my view from them onwards. Martyn highlighted to us just how much are we in control of what we design? It was a great feeling to be able to walk away from that first lecture and feel so content with what was to come in the next 8 weeks or so. What I have taken away from Constellation is a whole new outlook on the designing process… I have begun to consider what my body entails before I have an idea of what to design, and it’s fantastic. Each week was something different that offered us a different outlook on the designing process. From this I have managed to take away what feels like a whole bunch of new ways to think about my work the amount that goes into making a simple line or a shape. I know that all of the theories I have learnt through Constellation, I can apply to my future works, and I’m considering a personal summer project focussing on what the body goes through, mainly the multi-sensory system and how I could begin to illustrate this.


When the personal side of this term began I had that wonderful and overwhelming feeling that comes with every new project, where you just want to step outside and grab the world with your arms and dive into every corner of possibilities. I was so excited but I found it ever so difficult to find a path that I was confident and happy with for my project. After going to berlin I found that I wanted to focus on exploring the Ancient Egyptians. I really liked this idea in correlation to the sub-theme of ‘Hidden Cities’, as the ancient Egyptians believed in and created so much that has now dwindled away and become slightly forgotten about. I then focussed on the underworld and ‘The Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead’ which was full of old spells they used in order to make sure they achieved the things they wanted. Artwork was then made by them in conjunction to these spells. This artwork was mainly found in the temples, tombs and more importantly on the coffins and also inside them. Weeks, to months and sometimes years were spent making art which sole purpose was to be buried in the ground alongside a king. This artwork was hidden away from the outside world and this truly captivated me. I worked in a certain way which reflected this process and used materials that imitated the way they worked. I really enjoyed how I have worked for this project and I feel like I have explored new paths that I haven’t yet walked down, thus learning a lot more about technique, and also Egyptians! Throughout the project at the start, I found it difficult to juggle all three aspects of Term 3, so from this experience I know now that one of my weaknesses would be the way I handle my time and work load, and how I could organise this better in the future. I feel like there is a lot more to my project and I am happy to continue this work for personal reasons and hopefully one day be able to exhibit it.


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