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week 11 – matthew hulse

– conclusion –

How did this semester go then? Well, I suppose it went better in certain aspects than it did in previous attempts over the past two years, but worse in others. My project idea was there from the beginning within some capacity, but only emerged when faced with a difficult time. Being able to adapt a project from within, and coming out of a tricky situation, is what I have praised myself this time round.

Starting out with the idea of writing a story that my readers would interact with and dictate the outcome of the plot through vague indication gave me the drive to pursue an avenue I hadn’t thought to explore, which was to attempt intertextuality between mediums; being fiction and painting. Though this was cut short due to the topics I was researching were deemed to be too difficult/worrying to follow.

Bouncing off that small defeat I began exploring what else I could do while still retaining the same energy my interactive story had, but I couldn’t find a plot that stuck as well as my initial idea. The workshops helped drive the idea of continuity and appreciating the moments we experience as a community. A group of people can simply come together and create art, even if it is not considered by others to be art; the artist dictates what is and isn’t art. Collaboration was key this term, lots of feedback from classmates which was helpful throughout the course of this semester.

I didn’t expect to make such an intimate connection with the sea, but I find that the best things in life come as unexpected surprises, and this is certainly one of them. Coming from a country surrounded by the sea, I take beaches for granted, so having the chance to make interpretations and eventually create a narrative based on natural phenomena I observed through my photography and simply watching the outside was a truly beautiful and almost cleansing experience.

In the end, I find that Hirohiko Araki’s and Ursula Le Guin’s work to be the most influential in getting my narrative fleshed out in a contemporary poetic-and-prose-driven way. The obscurity and conceptual beauty present in Araki’s manga series allowed me to spot out individual weather elements I could utilise and personify to my advantage. Le Guin on the other hand assisted me in understanding how to build a world with few words, along with introducing me to the encompassing genre of speculative fiction which allows an interaction between reader and author I had never experienced before.

Quite a bizarre semester overall, falling off my horse multiple times, but always finding a way to get back on and finishing my race. Hopefully coming off this semester I will have a more concrete understanding of how to do this next time, as this was the first time I attempted to make a purely literary project and I enjoyed it more or less towards the end.

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