Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Australian Visual Arts Curriculum DRAFT Update

Some of you may remember reading my first post on the impending implementation of the Australian Curriculum "The Australian Curriculum and The Arts: What it means for you". Well this is a follow on from that as I thoroughly combed through the draft paper (Visual Arts section) when it was put out for consultation (see PDF here -OLD Version). The curriculum is supposed to be finalised this year ready for a 2014 implementation.

Below is a summary of my key findings in the draft Visual Arts Curriculum:

The curriculum is broken into 4 areas:
  1. Band Descriptions (Year level grouping)
  2. Content Descriptors (description for assessment in lesson/unit)
  3. Content Elaborations (description examples of assessment criteria)
  4. Achievement Standards (assessment criteria)
Key Points
  • The focus of this curriculum is processed based not product based
  • It is seen to be a recursive curriculum meaning that each year learning is built on and expanded upon
  • Two strands: Making and Responding
Australian Curriculum Bands

Summary of Key Focuses and Student Achievement Levels for the Australian DRAFT Visual Arts Curriculum

F-2 Yr Band
·      Focus: Feeling based learning
  •       Family/Community orientated 

Making: Look, Explore, Create, Make, Recognise, Connect
Responding: Share, Talk, Recognise

3-4 Yr Band
·      Focus: Personal/Self/Identity
  •       Peers, Teachers, Community orientated
  •       Introduction to traditional medium
  •       Describe the connection to stimulus 

Making: Explore, Investigate, Develop, Experiment, Share, Combine
Responding: Express, Understand, Explore and Explain, Recognise and Describe

5-6 Yr Band
·      Focus: Create Independently
  •         Peers, Teachers, Community
  •         Respond to own, peer's & artists' artworks
  •         Explain meaning behind artwork 
  •         Development of art skills
  •         People integrate art & meaning differently 

Making: Experiment and Create, Select and Use, Develop art making skills and techniques, investigate communication, combine other KLAs
Responding: Investigate values and meaning, identify and discuss, identify and analyse

7-8 Yr Band
·      Focus: External or outward focus
  •       Understand practices & viewpoints
  •       Techniques & processes embedded in media
  •       Artist viewpoint

Making: Explore self, Investigate practices and viewpoints, reflect, concept development
Responding: Purpose and meaning, explore and explain, research and analyse, understand contexts, interrelationships, perspectives and viewpoints, describe and justify

9-10 Yr Band
·      Focus: External, World
  • Informed decisions, autonomy, investigate techniques and processes critical and historical, interpretation of art, explain integration

Making: Manipulate and synthesis, investigate and explore, experiment, reflect, refine, informed decisions, explore symbol and representation
Responding: Evaluate and share, investigate, research, manipulation, connect practice and viewpoints, analyse and justify

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

How to Develop a Concept for an Artwork

Sometimes the hardest thing when you are wanting to be creative and create an artwork is coming up with an idea. Maybe you have alot of one-off ideas and want to create them into a series or body of work (I still struggle with this). And if you are still learning (as Artists never stop learning), then you continue to develop, challenge your thinking and find new ways. However you are probably at the 'hitting a brick wall' stage, so if you are, that's ok. Sometimes trying to 'push' for an idea to come only creates more pressure and less results. So, if you are in this position, or don't feel as though you have any deep and meaningful ideas you want to explore, just focus on getting you skills and techniques down pat. Even focusing on 'learning exercises' such as simple still lifes, landscapes or what ever is your interest is fine. Practice makes perfect.

However if you are at the stage where you want to explore ideas to develop a single artwork, or to create a body of work then here are some suggestions to get you on the right track:

The Brainstorm technique
1. Brainstorm ideas using a mind map e.g. Start with one word, your topic/focus. 
2. From that one word thing of any other 'connecting' words to this that refer to or reference the word. These can be any thoughts, feelings, ideas, contexts (political, historical, cultural etc) and so on. 
3. Now choose other keywords to explore and repeat steps one and two.
4. Once you are satisfied you have explored the idea enough and have chosen a 'path' start drawing up some thumbnail sketches.

1. Brainstorm

2. Further develop idea (add colour, collage, text etc)

Then start to focus on particular topics

Ripple & Tornado

The Research Technique
This technique can be used to start off or in conjunction with the Brainstorm technique.
1. Choose a topic/idea/thesis statement you wish to explore
2. Research aspects of this topic such as similar Artists who have explored this topic, Art Movements, Techniques, mediums you wish to explore etc
3. Start to develop and explore your idea through experimentation
4. Reflect and evaluate if you message is being communicated