WRITING FOR THE EXHIBITION

Hi students, if you are in a Northern Hemisphere school and in your final year as a DP visual arts student, the end is nigh. DP Arts deadlines are earlier than the deadlines for other DP subjects, and your teacher will probably ask for various files even before the ‘official’ deadlines so that he/she can check that all is OK. It’s probably a little stressful for you, but I know quite a few teachers who find this time of the year very ...

BLOOD, DUST AND CULTURE

I was forced to re-evaluate my definition of culture (and perhaps the many meanings of the word 'civilization') one night in Northern Tanzania when a group of Maasai tribesmen suggested that I drink the hot blood of a freshly slaughtered goat. This is life, Jim, I thought – but not as we know it. I’d watched the killing of the goat, and the invitation to drink the blood was a generous gesture of their hospitality, but no more than that – a ...

Part 2 of WHERE DO IDEAS COME FROM?

Last month I asked "Where do ideas come from?" (pretty much anywhere!) and wrote about one way of coming up with art ideas - by being aware of what has gone before (“standing on the shoulders of giants”)   This month I want to remind you of the importance of your VAJ – never go anywhere without it – and flag up a great YouTube video! 1 The JOURNAL (VAJ) (“Does your idea have legs?”) The journal is VITAL! The first suggestion I make to any ...

SIX TIPS FOR YOUR VISUAL ARTS COMPARATIVE STUDY

My year 2 students are in the process of finalizing their Comparative Study and my year 1 students are undertaking a ‘mini’ Comparative Study to introduce them to some of the important concepts and ideas. Here are six things I’m emphasizing to both groups. 1 Know what the examiner wants! Do you know what the assessment criteria are? It will really help the structure and content of your comparative study if you become familiar with the things the examiner is looking for. If you ...

PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE VISUAL ARTS ASSESSMENT CRITERIA

Are you mad? Changing the criteria? The course has only just had its first examinations session and they are thinking of changing them already?     Like any good organization, the DP visual arts curriculum and assessment teams review, consider and where necessary adjust. And having scrutinized the files of many thousands of students in May, June and July, the decision was made to tweak the assessment criteria for the 2017 examination sessions. “Tweak” is the operative work here. There are of course no big ...

ART AND CONCEPT: What’s in a Glass of Water?

This post is about the visual arts course with reference to contemporary art, conceptual qualities, conceptual art and found objects ***The visual arts “Conceptual Qualities” criterion does not necessarily mean Conceptual Art, and Conceptual Art does not necessarily mean Found Objects. In the recent examination session a number of students went down a strongly ‘conceptual’ route and having chosen that route then went down the avenue marked ‘Found Objects’. CONCEPTUAL ART “Conceptual art can be – and can look like – almost anything. This ...

PHOTOGRAPHY and the visual arts exhibition (and Blue Nudes in Hull?)

Blue Nudes in Hull I don’t come from Hull  (England) - or to give it its full name Kingston Upon Hull - but it’s less than 50 miles from my birthplace (using the A15 if anyone is interested), and will be UK city of culture in 2017, and is the latest place that has been part of/enjoyed the ideas of Spencer Tunick. Last month more than 3,000 people stripped naked and were painted blue to mark Hull's City of Culture next year. Hull City ...

MUSEUMS, ARTEFACTS and the COMPARATIVE STUDY

Comparative Study: avoid the OBVIOUS! Some artists and artworks are always popular choices with many students. I can guarantee that your Comparative Study examiner will see A LOT of student discussions and comparisons of Pop Art and Surrealist paintings. They are obvious and predictable. So why not try thinking outside the box? IBDP visual arts comparative study documentation says “Students are required to analyse and compare artworks, objects or artifacts by different artists. This independent critical and contextual investigation should explore artworks, objects ...

CONTEMPORARY ART and THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE

 I recently spent a day at the TATE MODERN gallery with a group of Norwegian students and their teachers, who were staying in London for a few days having left Oslo the day before. We were looking for links between, and questions about, Art and the Theory of Knowledge. My role at the Tate on that day was to introduce and explain to the students some of the tricky issues that infuse and surround contemporary art. Tate Modern is the ...

Everything you wanted to know about your PP and your VAJ (but were afraid to ask)

One issue seems to puzzle some students: What is the relationship between the Process Portfolio and the Visual Arts Journal (henceforth referred to respectively as the PP and the VAJ)? Some students feel the VAJ has little importance because they see that the PP gets 40% of the marks and the VAJ does not appear to be assessed at all (in the sense that there is no VAJ assessment component) …Hence the feeling that the PP is essentially the same as the VAJ ...