visual cultures – modernities: The Psychoanalyst Marion Milner reflects on her struggle to learn how to express herself freely through painting and drawing. As part of this process she read several books “about the nature of the painter’s problems” but felt that following their guidance still tended to produce work that had a “counterfeit quality Custom Paper

Length: 2,000 words

In her book On Not Being Able to Paint (London, Heinemann [1950], 1987), the psychoanalyst Marion Milner reflects on her struggle to learn how to express herself freely through painting and drawing. As part of this process she read several books “about the nature of the painter’s problems” but felt that following their guidance still tended to produce work that had a “counterfeit quality” (1987:3). One of the books, however, said that “the aim of painting was that the eye should find out what it liked” (1987:3) and this seemed to her to be a useful idea. 

A similar claim might be made about the act of looking, reading and writing about art, and this kind of idea was behind the weekly Modernities Seminar practice of journaling your responses to images, ideas and themes raised either by the lecture, the set reading and other related activities or experiences.

This essay is based on one or more ideas explored by you in your Course Journal. It is designed to help you further clarify an area of personal interest that has emerged in response to the Modernities course, to carry out independent research, and to write about it in a way that seems to you to be the most appropriate and pleasing. It can take the form of a traditional essay if you like, or a report, a creative project, or some other kind of publication’. 

Whatever approach you take, remember to cite your sources accurately in footnotes and bibliography. In selecting your topic, one option is to rework and expand upon your coursework essay and submit that. Alternatively, you may produce a fresh piece of work if you prefer.


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