Self-assessment for Assignment 5 – Contextual Studies

In this self-assessment of Assignment 5 – Contextual Studies I will evaluate how my final draft of the extended written project holds up against the criteria for Contextual Studies. The criteria are demonstration of subject based knowledge and understanding, demonstration of research skills, demonstration of critical and evaluation skills and finally communication.

Demonstration of subject based knowledge and understanding:

The subject of my thesis is ‘artwashing’ in the context of regeneration. I have conducted further research on this topic since my Assignment 4 (first draft) feedback so that my breadth of knowledge has been extended. I think this has allowed me to gain a better understanding of the issues behind ‘artwashing’, like how artists can be implicated with their work being used as a tool for gentrification and the ramifications of this. I used the contexts of advertising and then commissioned work to frame my question about what role artist’s work plays in regeneration. I offset this with the cultural context of self-governing art to ask what are the alternative artistic interventions to the dominant image of regeneration?

Demonstration of research skills:

Like Assignment 4, I have kept a bibliography and research folder as I’ve gone along, which has enabled me to organise my research, in turn helping me to redraft the essay. Most of my research has been conducted using online resources but I also watched a relevant film (The Street (2019) by Zed Nelson) and used a number of relevant books to firstly further my understanding of the issues and then to back up my points. The types of online resources I utilised were online journal articles, websites relating to regeneration or ‘artwashing’ and artist websites. While most of my sources are secondary, I have taken lots of photographs to help illustrate my points and I feel they act as appropriate and salient primary source material for my essay.

Demonstration of critical and evaluation skills:

For Assignment 5, I feel I have listened to my tutor’s advice in not using quotations to make my points but rather to add credence to my points, something I failed to do for Assignment 4. As well as this I have introduced my own personal point of view to analyse and compare relevant examples, using them to develop and form my argument. Specifically, I have aimed to show different ways how ‘artwashing’ operates as advertising for an area in Chapter 3. I also demonstrated critical thinking in Chapter 4 where I posited self-aware art in a public setting as a way of offering a different voice for gentrification issues.


I think although I tried to be clear in my writing style for Assignment 4, the lack of a personal voice impacted on my communication. I have used personal pronouns etc elsewhere (on my blog and research folder) and I feel by reintroducing them for Assignment 5 too I could write more freely and succinctly. I feel I have listened to my tutor’s advice with regards to addressing the positives as well as the negatives of regeneration, which means the essay communicates a more balanced outlook. Lastly, in my opinion having images throughout the essay like my tutor suggested is much more satisfying as they illustrate my points.


The Street (2019) Directed by Nelson, Z. [Amazon Prime Video] At: (Accessed 20/11/2020).


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