Visual Arts and the M Word (“MEANING!”)

Recently I’ve been in correspondence with a friend and colleague, discussing the way that some students incorporate meaning into their art. My friend refers to this as the M word. His concern relates to the way that some students place too much value and importance on the meaning that they place on their art. Of course, art has meaning. Artworks can contain and communicate a huge variety of meanings, some intentional and some unintentional (and at this point this could stray into a ...

Up Close and Personal

ASSESSMENT MYTHS NUMBER 2: “My work is personal: I thought that would get me a high mark?” No, I’m afraid not. “Personal work” will not necessarily get you any marks at all. This is often misunderstood both by students and teachers, and I suspect that part of the cause of the misunderstanding is the 2nd bullet point in the Studio markband descriptors – the one that states that the work “demonstrates the production of personally relevant artworks that show exploration of ideas ...

The Afghan girl – the new Barbie?

BIgx-nkFL6c When you (a student) are dealing with iconic images (such as Steve McCurry’s ‘Afghan Girl’ photograph) and want to integrate the icon somehow into your own art, be careful: think through your reasons, the outcome, and what the audience (or examiner) response might be to the outcome. 6XAXLCtlpiU As an examiner I frequently encounter iconic images that have been used (re-used?) in a piece of student art, and the Afghan girl is a good example. cK6EnFu3NHc Her face often becomes part of a visual ...

What’s the point of DRAWING?

"Until I saw my drawings replayed on the iPad, I'd never seen myself draw. Someone watching me would be concentrating on the exact moment, but I'd always be thinking a little bit ahead. That's especially so in a drawing where you are limiting yourself, a line drawing for example. When you are doing them you are very tense, because you have to reduce everything to such simple terms". (David Hockney http://quote.robertgenn.com/getquotes.php?catid=84 ) "The process of drawing is, before all else, the process of ...

Surrealism Today?

Ultimate Dog Tease  nGeKSiCQkPw Surrealism is alive and well and quite a lot of it appears on YouTube (e.g. gorillas who play drums, dogs that talk, cats who think aloud and swear quite a lot). In the investigation component we ask students to analyse and compare art from different cultures and times, and consider it for its function and significance, and in studio we ask for the production of artworks that explore ideas reflecting cultural and historical awareness and artistic qualities. I'm not sure if any ...