Class Activities Unit Four

“Trial HSC – Artist criticism / Art history”

“Trial HSC – Artist Criticism / Art History”

In this unit students will practice writing for exam type questions based on numerous type artist that will allow students to write concise articulate responses. Students will gather information from various sources that will further help their understanding. Teaching students to write meaningful essays that will fulfil every component of the frameworks.

Students will have the option to work on their major works or continue to study art theories following course outlined. Revision of past and present artist will be investigated to practice student responses as their understanding of complex issues grows. Students will construct a body of significant art theories, critical narratives and other documented accounts of visual representation.

“Trial HSC – Artist Criticism / Art History”

Unit 2:  “Trial HSC – Artist Criticism / Art History”(revisions)

Outcomes: Frames / Conceptual Framework / Practices

Time: 34 Hours / 10-Weeks (approx)

Evidence/ Periods



Week 1


Artist Model: Matt talking to students about his work.

About Me
I draw inspiration primarily from the natural world, the many contrasting facets of humanity, and the complex relationship between them. 

Whilst working predominantly in Oils onto canvas, I'm also continually working in ceramics and mixed media.


Students continued with their Major works developing and discussing ideas with the teacher.

Week 1 Students worked on majorworks: Development of body of work – including VAPD and works under development (students showing their process of Major Work) 

Major Assignment 3 (MA3)

There two components to the MA3 -

Points made are:

  1. Students must develop evidence of body of work throughout the year – works under development; VAPD, oral or written presentation about intentions, conceptual framework relationships, and viewpoint/s
  2. Students select a past examination essay question to create a Case Study. This will allow students to study an artist that will help further their studies.
  3. Due date is 23rd August Monday: This is throughout Term 3 Week 9.


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Week 4


Students working through their major works. Rachel and I worked through ideas while Jesse Baker Year 11 had arrived into our group. I introduced him to the course outline on


Sarah absent Hannah and Rachel present. Students working through Case Studies - Eugene Von Guerard writing questions for homework.    

This will  be part of MA3 - Case Study 3

You can continue to use the artists studied or begin new artists of interests. I have given you examples of past case studies done by previous students to give you an idea to write and complete a case study of your own.

Think about these four points:

1.    How can I maximise my knowledge of the visual arts through these case studies?

2.    How can I structure my case studies so my understanding and written expression best prepare me for examination?

3.    Are there any exhibitions I can visit that may be incorporated into my case studies and major work?

4.    Are you interested in these artist models that they will help you in your Major work?

Students are to look at the ideas and concepts through the "frameworks."

Revision: The frameworks involve the ideas and aspirations of artist, audiences, world opinion, artist historians, art critics and journalist etc all seeking to better judge and critique the works of art that are popular.


Week 5


Students wanted to work through their major works - Hannah discussed her majorwork issues with the idea of looking at jigsaw puzzels with a different structure. As the teacher I suggested a small dress table with different parts of her personality in the draws. Rachel contemplated with discussing her idea with her father. We struggled with the concept of animated death showing a process before postmortem. Sarah absent and thought to be in Sydney.


Sarah, Rachel and Hannah present looking at the artworks of James Gleeson - Period 3 Friday with art critics responses. Homework questions were given 1-3 paragraph responses


Sarah absent, Rachel and Hannah present -  Homework questions were given 1-3 paragraph responses not completed. Major works 

Major Works / Class Activities:

Students will study artist models based on

The “Frames – Practice – Conceptual Frameworks”

Born Vienna 1811, Died London 1901

oil on canvas, 61.5 x 91.5 cm
Collection: Art Gallery of Western Australia

Students Read pg 6 of Artwise:

Discuss Mr Blanchflowers ideas and critical evaluations and Anser questions 1-3

  1. List any evidence of Blanchflower's adiration of Von Guerards work, as well as any criticims.
  2. Blanchflower is an artist who lives and works in Perth. Do you think the fact that he is an artist has influenced the way he writies about his work? Wy?
  3. Identify the frame used by the critic.Give evidence that sopports your judgement. (Remeber: the subjective frame is concerned with personal responses, memories, the subconscious and emotions; structural frame considers symbols, signs and the arrangements and struture of an artwork; cutral frame is concerned with identity with a particular contry, social comment on class, race, gender, politics and technology; Postmordern frame challenges the past and the concept of originality, use of appropriation, use of non-traditional media, parody, pastiche.)
James Gleeson:

Structured essay question - Paragraph responses

  1. Look at one of Gleeson's artworks and describe his approach to landscape painting.
  2. How is his technique similar to that of Dali? How does it differ?
  3. Select one of Gleeson's work that would be of interest to an international audience if it were to tour as part of an exhibition of Australian art. Give reasons for your choice.

·         James Gleeson - Looking at his art works with critics responses


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Week 6


Sarah, Rachel and Hannah present -  Hannah presented Damien Hirst artist model and looked at historical and the critical comments on his artworks.

Major Works / Class Activities:

Students will study artist models based on

The “Frames – Practice – Conceptual Frameworks”

Damien Hirst, 1965 - Case Study 3 Hannah Doods


Is a very famous British artist, born in England 1965.


Damien Hirst first became well known due to his exhibitions called ‘FREEZE’ in 1988. This Exhibition was quite a famous exhibition run by his college at Goldsmiths in 1988. Damien was lucky enough to have been one of the 16 students involved in this exhibition that held several of Damien’s artworks. This exhibition is widely believed to have been the starting point for the "Young British Artists" movement, the way that many British artists were noticed.

Damien has gone on to create many other different artworks which have been well known and stood out in the art world due to its strange and very shocking nature.

One of these artworks he created was titled The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living or The shark.


This artwork is a 14-foot tiger shark, preserved in formaldehyde, presented in a glass tank. The artwork caused discussion as to whether something so simple could be seen as art, to which the conclusion was yes.


Damien Hirst’s artwork commonly referred to as The Shark, expressed his obsession with mortality and death. This artwork was a shock to the art world as it was so different but it did catapult Hirst into art superstardom.

  1. How did the world see his artworks through the materials he used?
  2. Why were some critics opposed the idea of Damien Hirst perservation concepts? Some thought it was not art.
  3. How did he shock his audiences and what was his artworks commenting about?

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Week 7


We were going to discuss artist model Ron Mueck - Rachel was going to give the presentation: Hannah, Sarah and Rachel present.

We got distracted and discussed having "life goals." Students need purpose and encouragment to reflect on their majorworks - having direction and a goal in completing HSC majorworks.
Proverbs 19:21 (New Living Translation)

21 You can make many plans,
but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

Proverbs 24:27 (New Living Translation)

27 Do your planning and prepare your fields
before building your house.

Ask for advice from people you trust - Get knowledge and wise counsel?

Proverbs 15:22 (New Living Translation)

22 Plans go wrong for lack of advice;
many advisers bring success.

Proverbs 24:5-6 (New Living Translation)

5 The wise are mightier than the strong,[a]
and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger.

That’s why you keep active in learning

6 So don’t go to war without wise guidance;
victory depends on having many advisers.

What does it all mean?
How does it relate to reality?
It's just religion...


Students Hannah, Rachel and Sarah have been discussing Case Study 3 Artist Model - Ron Mueck and Major Works progress through with a brian storm of ideas and continued effort of photographing VAPDs.

Major Works / Class Activities:

Students will study artist models based on

The “Frames – Practice – Conceptual Frameworks”


·        Ron Mueck - Case Study 3 By Rachel Mercy


Ron Mueck is a London-based photo-realist artist. Born in Melbourne, Australia, to parents who were toy makers, he labored on children’s television shows for 15 years before working in special effects for such films as “Labyrinth”. He then started his own company in London, where he made models to be photographed for advertisements. Eventually Mueck came to the conclusion that photography pretty much destroys the physical “presence” of the original object, and so he turned to fine art and sculpture. Mueck was commissioned to make something highly realistic, and was wondering what material would do the trick.

Latex was the usual, but he wanted something harder, more precise. Luckily, he saw a little architectural decor on the wall of a boutique and inquired as to the nice, pink stuff’s nature. Fiberglass resin was the answer, and Mueck has made it his bronze and marble ever since.

Mueck’s sculptures are some of the most widely acclaimed, prominent and identifiable works of art in the international contemporary art arena. He does not make models, giant or tiny puppets. He employs all the techniques of technological advance to create works of art. His sculptures authentically reproduce the minute detail of the human body, but play around with the scale to produce disconcertingly jarring visual images. Mueck’s work is always out of scale from reality, as his figures are either oversized or undersized. Mueck’s sculptures are most often naked and are displayed in states of self-consciousness , introspection or deep contemplation, his figures  present both emotional and physical states of exposure. Viewers of the artworks experience a level of unease that is borne of voyeuristic awkwardness, as though some kind of personal space has been invaded. The audience also identify with the human condition these emotional moments express. Astonishing in their apparent realism and compeling in their ability to evoke invereaction Ron Mueck’s works have earned him a place as the creator as some of the most evocative sculptures of our time.

Mueck invites people to take a close-up look at his work, to inspect the hairs, freckles and blemishes, to scrutinize the carefully modelled expression and contemplate the difference between artist-made reality and the world in which we live.

"I never made life-size figures because it never seemed to be interesting. We meet life-size people every day.'" Says Mueck

'There's no denying that I have more information readily at hand when I have a live model. Even when I have had a model, however, what I have to do in the end is to consciously abandon the model and go for what feels right.'

-Ron Mueck


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Week 8


Hannah and Sarah absent on the 07/06/10 Rachel discussed new ideas with myself. 09/06/10 Students continued with Major work while I spoke and caught up with Jesse Baker Year 11 about assignment.

Major Works / Class Activities:

Students continued with their majorworks - Lead-up work in a student’s Visual Arts Process Diary, along with other lead-up work, and other work produced and not submitted as the body of work, must be available to verify and provide further evidence of a student’s artmaking.

Individual works have not been sited but I trust my students but continue to document the progress of each student.

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Week 9


Students continued with their majorworks - Lead-up work in a student’s Visual Arts Process Diary, along with other lead-up work, and other work produced and not submitted as the body of work, must be available to verify and provide further evidence of a student’s artmaking.

Individual works have not been sited but I trust my students but continue to document the progress of each student.


Sarah Norberry presented Case Study 3 Anne Zahalka 

Major Works / Class Activities:

Students will study artist models based on

Case Study 3 By Sarah Norberry

Anne Zahalka 

Anne Zahalka was born in 1957 in Sydney Australia. 

1976 Art Certificate, Stages 1 & 2, East Sydney Technical College 

1979 Bachelor of (Visual) Arts, Sydney College of the Arts 

1989 Post Graduate Diploma, Sydney College of the Arts 

1994 Master Fine Arts, University of NSW, College of Fine Arts, Sydney 

Anne Zahalka’s talent is one of the most recognised in the photomedia world throughout Australia.
She has created some amazing works over her 20years of photomedia practice. Anne uses familiar settings around Australia to create her images and artworks.
Her work is shown in major museums in Australia and has held numerous solo shows in not only Australia but also overseas. 

The Exhibition I have chosen to discuss is her Installation “Leisureland”. This exhibition was documented on the stuff we do in life like: leisure, sport and entertainment within our Australian culture. She shows this through colour, detail and conventions of photographic realism. The photographs are taken from real locations which seem to focus on theme parks, entertainment centres, shopping arcades, indoor rock climbing, gyms, museums, aquariums, video parlours, cinemas, and sporting complexes.
Anne is trying to convey our fascination of these environments and display them in her artwork. 

When walking through the exhibit Anne wants her viewers to encounter their own critical appreciation and experience of the different environments displayed.



Sports Carnival all students participation.

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Week 10

Major Works /


20 MAY - 25 JULY 2010

This touring exhibition from Cairns Regional Gallery, presents the work of prominent North Queensland artist, Anneke Silver. Her work captures the atmosphere created by the vast and unique Northern landscape.

Anneke Silvers’ large landscapes are composed of grids, each piece linking to reveal the whole. Awe and respect for nature is central to the artist’s practice, and her vistas encourage the viewer to look further than the customary one-off glance.

The body of work must comply with the overall prescribed dimensions for HSC submitted artworks in Visual Arts Stage 6 in terms of overall limitations on size, weight, volume and duration as set out below. The body of work must be conceived of, and executed by, the student under the supervision of the Visual Arts teacher.

  • Lead-up work in a student’s Visual Arts Process Diary, along with other lead-up work, and other work produced and not submitted as the body of work, must be available to verify and provide further evidence of a student’s artmaking.

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