Recent Posts by Andrew Vaughan

Documenting temporary artworks

Fire, Water and Decay Emma - one of my 2nd year visual arts students -  is interested in the process of decomposition and destruction by fire. She’s interested in the way things change as they end their existence, the visual qualities and the nature of change. She has been burning things and watching/filming natural objects decay and decompose as time passes. She has also been filming ripples in water, (” the impact of a splash”) as well using ‘ripple’ photos as the ...

Arts assessment: Thoughts and Suggestions

We are in the middle of the November visual arts examination session so I thought that I would highlight some assessment-related things that friend and colleague Jayson Paterson recently said on My IB. (As many will know, Jayson is one of the My IB visual arts experts and responsible for the visual arts Community forum. In some sections below I am quoting Jayson because his considered opinions are very much in line with my own.) Here are five issues that can play ...

Sensitive Issues in Art and the ‘spectrum of offence’

A while ago I posted a blog entitled ‘Nude vs Prudes’. I was a little exasperated that our life drawing workshops appeared to make a colleague so uncomfortable. But of course, nudity is just one of a number of sensitive topics and we need to be sensitive to the culture we are in, This issue becomes more complex when submitting work. For example, what are the implications if, as a teacher, I submit a student’s semi-naked self-portrait photo and it goes to an examiner ...

Are you ready for the new “revised” Visual Arts course?

No, of course you aren’t, because the final report on the course will not be seen by teachers until 2021 and you won’t start teaching it until 2022 – but hey, it’s a-coming! What’s happening next? We are approaching the end of a long but interesting journey: the fourth ‘new course’ development meeting will occur next month (November 2019). The fifth and sixth development meetings (January – December 2020) will discuss refinements and the finalisation of curriculum and assessment model. There will also, ...

A Story of Cheating

In a recent visual arts workshop, we had a lot of discussions about academic honesty and how to detect plagiarism, and one of the teachers described this encounter: One of his students returned to school after the summer break with an absolutely outstanding artwork – big, colourful, complex, clever and thought-provoking. …and completely unlike (and better than) anything the student created in the entire first year. Academic honesty alarm bells started ringing loudly for our teacher. He asked the student to show the ...

Working from Observation (“direct observation”)

In September, for many schools it’s the start of another school year, and if you are a DP visual arts student, you will be either returning for your 2nd year or starting your first. Where to Start? Of course, your teacher will probably suggest some initial directions that your art might follow to start with, but – depending on how much freedom you have – you might want to explore one of the most traditional routes in art-making: working from observation. I have ...

Five Years of the process portfolio

By Friday, August 16, 2019 No tags 0

We have now had FIVE full years of the ‘new’ visual arts course. It was started in 2014, with first examinations in 2016, so for those of us who have been riding this particular horse from the start, the annual hurdles (aka annual examination sessions) should be getting less daunting and more familiar. Even if the first time round your students’ results were not what you expected, hopefully by now it’s getting easier. I’ve devoted recent blogs to aspects of the ...

Cindy Sherman

By Monday, August 12, 2019 No tags 0

Wow! I have just seen the Cindy Sherman Retrospective at the National Portrait Gallery, London. Click the link for a quick video of the works from the exhibition. “This major new retrospective explores the development of Sherman’s work from the mid-1970s to the present day, and features around 150 works from international public and private collections as well as new work never before displayed in a public gallery. Focusing on the artist’s manipulation of her own appearance and her deployment of material derived ...

“Raising awareness of world issues” – The pitfalls (Concepts and Exhibition)

Conceptually speaking, the trouble with 'raising awareness' of world issues in your visual arts exhibition is that in most cases, awareness has already been raised, and examiners will probably have seen your video of ice melting - or a person swimming with plastic bottles, or a collage made of rubbish, or a Photoshopped photo of chimneys belching smoke, or cars polluting with their exhaust fumes, or oil pouring into the ocean etc - many times before. Conceptual qualities mean you ...

Why so generous? – IA predictions

By Wednesday, July 3, 2019 No tags 0

(i.e. why are the marks awarded by teachers for the visual arts IA component – the Exhibition – sometimes wildly unrealistic?) A group of IA moderators were chatting about their experiences in the last examination session. One moderator posed the question: why are some teachers so generous with their marks? Here are some of the ideas that surfaced relating to the different issues involved. 1 MISUNDERSTANDING GLOBAL STANDARDS This is probably the biggest cause of inaccurate teacher marks. Some teachers may not understand what the ...