Tuesday, 24 March 2009

My EPQ (So Far)

I am going to use this blog to document the progress I make with my EPQ.

An EPQ is an Extended Project Qualification (http://www.aqa.org.uk/over/extendedproject.php) that "offers students a free project choice, so they can explore in depth: an aspect of a subject they are studying, or a topic in which they have a personal interest".

When the opportunity was offered I emailed my initial ideas to my teacher:

"The thing that screamed out at me after you'd finished your presentation was Art History. One of the most enjoyable parts of my Art and Photography courses is doing background research and looking at various works / artists / movements. I feel I learn so much from doing that, perhaps more than actually following through with my own ideas, and research is not a massive part in terms of the coursework marks for those courses. It is needed, but it's educational suicide to get so into research and not produce anything at the end. So I would love the opportunity to really sink my teeth into some art history, extensively explore the roots of art, the major movements and artists, look at the other mediums that have arisen with advances in technology (e.g. rise of photography and film), and peoples responses to them over time.

Then, ultimately, the impact of art on our planet historically, culturally, aesthetically, etc. That's a brief summary anyway. I'd no doubt have to undertake some research first. Before I actually thought of a final question and whatnot."

In reply to this, she gave me two pointers that I could consider:

"I have two thoughts and I wonder if you could merge the two or maybe have to choose between them....

1. Is, as you say, a consideration of the rise of photography and how it has changed over time and impacted on society/culture/etc.

2. Would be an investigation into Renaissance and Baroque art - I believe you are going to Rome pretty soon so you would be able to see all of the major works, in situ and we could maybe spend a whole day investigating how the Renaissance changed art and in what ways the Renaissance differed from the Baroque after? Both I and Mr N would be able to help you with this one and we could do all the bookish prep before getting to Rome for your "site visit".

So I decided to narrow my research down to focus on art history in Rome. I visited Rome on a school trip back in 2007 and I loved the city - its art, culture, architecture,... So I would like to explore how the face of Rome has changed over the centuries and how art has helped shape this.

"You could look at Ancient Art, the Renaissance, Baroque etc etc, right the way up to Fascist art in 20th century under Mussolini. This way you could use film as well as your up coming "site visit" and perhaps part of your project could be a mini-portfolio of Rome in the 21st century (photography)".

This idea appealed to me even more.

So I plan to form the question for my EPQ around the changing face of Rome over time and how different movements (art, political, etc.) have helped shape it.

To start my research I have looked at a number of art books on the art of Rome and Italy during the Baroque / Renaissance. I have researched the main artistic movement and the major works and artists that exemplify those movements. I have also watched documentaries and films (such as Derek Jarman's Caravaggio).

This is just a brief overview of what I have done so far. The purpose of this blog is to track my progress with my EPQ and everything I do to achieve my final goal / objective / outcome.

My next post will include a more detailed analysis of my research so far, as well as face-to-face discussions with my teacher and other more general EPQ-related lectures / seminars, etc.