Student Conversation - Grainne Brennan

"The course makes you question everything you are seeing and think in a completely different way. "

On Visual Culture

Before starting in NCAD I did two years craft-based study in Grennan Mill, in Thomastown, Kilkenny. I actually came here thinking I wanted to do museum curation, but by the end of the year it was the theory and research I preferred most. I enjoy the challenge of writing papers and doing essays.

On writing techniques

We’re learning critical and writing techniques step by step. I’ve learned from my errors what not to do. As a class, we take in a few galleries on our own time and then sit down and do talks on it. We sort of bounce off each other which is quite helpful.

On practice and theory

The course makes you question everything you are seeing and think in a completely different way. This semester we’ve looked at Kant and Schopenhauer and studied aesthetic judgement. We’re also encouraged to consider the context of where our writing exists. Is it a blog? a museum paper? And how should I adjust my style to suit the different context and culture?

On influences

My recent essay is on pop art. I wrote about the Campbell’s soup can. At the beginning of the year I would have written about the colour and what it looked like. Now, it’s more of the cultural meaning surrounding it, the politics of the time and why people were fascinated with it. I looked at Walter Benjamin and the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. I never would have read that at the start of the year. But that’s the fun of it, that’s learning, that’s what we’re here for. We’re not expected to produce published masterpieces.

On new ambitions

My goals have now changed, I‘m more ambitious. I’m passionate about everything that I’m learning. This course has opened a whole new world to me. I’m looking at things differently and I know that I’m looking at them differently.