Week 1

The initial reasons for me wanting to do this project is based around my increasing dissatisfaction with the way in which the collective society of this first world country I live in deals with helping those in need. I was watching a documentary on the BBC, where the investigative journalist Stacey Dooley travels to Japan to look into the underage pornography problem in that country. I felt frustrated by the way that Stacey was talking to the people there and the undeniable judgmental tone of voice. I was thinking, why is she creating an investigative documentary about a topic that she clearly does not have a passionate vested interest in. Especially when I compared this video with  a previous series of documentaries that she created about the lack of women’s’ rights across the world, where it was clear that she had a vested interest in these women’s’ rights. This then led me to think more generally about our society, and the ways in which we ‘manage’ charity work. So we will dedicate one day of the year to Children in Need where people are publicly praised for raising £300 in a cake sale, and after that day they do not think about the charity again for another year. I wanted to think in more detail about Altruism and the possibilities of people being able to actually do selfless acts, with no gain to them what so ever, and if doing ‘selfless’ act should even be considered a important or highly regarded ideal in society when we are animals and have extremely primitive roots.

In the first week of this project I have spent a lot of my time doing in-depth research into Altruism, as I have tried to gain a deeper understanding into the viability of individuals being altruistic. I have read a book called ’50 psychology ideas you really need to know’ written by Adrian Furnham, and in the chapter called ‘Self-Sacrifice’ Furnham suggests various different reasons why someone may be likely to help someone else. For example, both men and women are just as likely to help someone in need but the reason that men help people is different from the reasons why a women might. For men they will help because they want to be seen as heroic and chivalrous, whereas for women they are likely to help people because they are more caring and nurturing. There are many factors that make up a person including gender, race and religion that can contribute to the reasons why someone is more likely to help someone selflessly, or not help at all or even help someone to benefit themselves in some way.

My next step in this project is to start researching artists and different schools of thought about Altruism so that I can start to conceive an idea of what road I might want my project to go down ultimately.



FMP Proposal


I had a very open mind when beginning the foundation course and had no idea which pathway I would choose, as I felt passionate about Fine Art, Fashion and 3D. I learnt during rotation that photography, 3D and Fashion could incorporate fine art elements. With fashion we had to look at a fine artist to draw inspiration from to design clothes, and in photography and 3D I discovered that there was potential to make work that was more conceptual.


Both Textiles and Visual Communication suggested to me a structured form of art which was more about designing something specific. I realized through rotation that the art I wanted to create could only come from me, therefore decided to specialize in Fine Art to allow me more freedom to experiment with various concepts.


Specialism has taught me a lot about my strengths and weaknesses within art. I feel as though I exited my comfort zone with some of the materials that I experimented with, which I am pleased about. I feel my physical practice requires more time and energy so that I can fully refine my outcomes to a standard that I deem acceptable. In the first project ‘Creative Destruction’ and the last ‘House and Home’ I noticed retrospectively that political ideas influenced my thought process, and I naturally come back to thinking about political or social issues, often focused on warped and untruthful realities that people live. I hope through this Final Major Project, I will be able to present a final outcome, which satisfies me and conveys my intended concept.




Project Concept 


For my initial ideas I have been looking into the concept of Altruism, and the legitimacy of this as something that can be translated into real life examples of altruistic individuals. My interest has arisen from my continuous dissatisfaction with the modern breed of investigative journalists who seem increasingly able to pass judgment and take a split second of interest on particular global issues, and then move on to the next. I want to explore in detail the ways in which our society tackles helping others with no reward or benefit to themselves.


I am keen to undertake research that leads me into the territory of philosophy, and the origins of why our society values the idea of helping others so much. This will require extensive reading and I am also keen to look into charities and the ways through which charity fundraising is celebrated each year.


I have various questions that I want to explore and to some extent try and answer through my artwork. The first question is ‘Are there people out there who can be considered truly altruistic?’ This question addresses the foundation and core of my project. Another question I am keen to look into is, ‘Is it too much to expect people to have the capability to be truly altruistic?’


In terms of physical artistic creation, I am aware that this project is very conceptual and, a lot of my physical creation will be centred on recording humans and their attitudes and views towards helping others. I hope to develop my ability to photograph and film, as I plan to document in detail a range of opinions. For an art project that does not have an obvious artistic medium to create a response, for me it is important to collect in-depth and extensive research.


Ultimately, I want to create an installation, potentially incorporating film or sound clips that will force the viewer to consider the same questions I have been thinking about surrounding the viability of altruism. Through reflective practice, I will record the development of my project within my blog as I continually develop my ideas.