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Class Activities

Year 9 Term 4 Class Activities 

In this unit students will look at the ideas of Iconography.

1. What is iconography?
2. What is Byzantine art?
3. What were the restrictions as an artist within the Byzantine period?
4. How does it relate to us today?

Religion and Art these days have been challenged and in some cases critically evaluated asking questions either to shock its viewers or to rethink the artist's intentions. So, what do we mean when we speak of religious art? Do we mean that religious themes are depicted in the art? Do we mean that religious people were the artists? Do we mean that some special religious group or church has decided that the art is orthodox and therefore official?

All these questions will be explored through this term using YouTube and Google Videos as the audience opinions, contrasting with art historians and artist’s critics.

Unit 4: “Iconography

Year: 9-10

Time: 9 Weeks 27 hours (approx)



Class Activities

Content focus

































Art making

Students learn to:








VAPD documented notes



Class Activity / Introduction: 

Students discuss the questions below as a starting point:  

1. What is iconography?

It is the study or analysis of subject matter and its meaning in the visual arts, iconology or the symbolic representation attached to an image or images.

Students will look at the history of historical symbols attached to different art periods. In this unit of work we will explore the basic understanding of where the idea of image interpretation because the word iconography literally means "image writing."

First we need to explore the history why artisans were employed in the 5th Century A.D. to 1453 to create works of religious iconography and the most famous era would be the Byzantine period.

YouTube Video

Practical Activity
Students will individually create their own icons of identity using religion as a catalyst for other options within the cultural framework. For example:

Students will use mix media prints making 20 prints plus layered compositions that reflect personal responses towards cultural issues of their choice.


Lino Printing

  1. Students will practise using all the different lino cutting tools to cut grooves and shapes into a small practice piece of lino.
  2. Draw a simple design onto the smooth brown side of your lino in pencil.
  3. Now place your lino on a cutting board and cut your design by following the pencil lines. Your grooves and lines need to be fairly deep. You can do small lines, dots etc. as well. When you have finished cutting, pack away your tools and cutting board. Carefully sweep away all your pieces of cut lino and put them into the bin.
  4. On the table, put a perspex board a roller some block printing ink Squeeze about 5cm of ink onto the middle of your perspex board. Using your roller, roll back and forward over the ink until your roller is evenly covered.
  5. Roll your inked roller over your cut lino. You may need to roll several times and in different directions before your lino is evenly covered.
  6. Place a piece of paper carefully over your inked lino. Using a clean roller or the palm of your hand, or a spoon, roll over the paper on top of the lino. Roll firmly.
  7. Peel the paper away from the lino to reveal your print.

Some more ideas:
  • Sometimes you can take two prints from your lino before inking it up again.
  • If your lines are too shallow, wash off the ink, cut them deeper, and print again.
  • Try using the wide tool to cut away all the lino around your shape.
  • If you're feeling clever...after you have printed with one colour, cut some more lino out of your design, and print with another colour on top of your dry prints.
  • Try printing onto coloured paper and make some cards.
  • Perhaps you could colour your prints by hand. Coloured pen or water colour works best.


Students will layer their printed images to create an industrial collage, rustic imagery reflecting their personal response through the "cultural framework" painting, shellac textures, torn newspaper with limited colours. 






reflect on and interpret actions and choices, and document these in their diaries 

· make images and objects (artworks) that approximate an approach to artistic practice 

· Using imagination / practicing artist practice

· Describing the use of materials and techniques and various investigations of the world how they view artist works. 

Students will use and practice:

Use of materials 3 linoleum blocks 
cutters newsprint 
assorted colored inks (waterbased) 
good drawing paper 

· Demonstrate an excellent quality of print using multiple blocks 

· Utilize the elements and principles of design in creating a strong design. 

· Demonstrating extra skill in carving the block and registration of colors. Showing appreciation and awareness of the

Critical / Historical

Students learn about:







Students started with the questions but had already worked on their practical activities. Students present Georgia, Justin, Rebekah and Emily.  



Mr Tafai absent on this day. Students will continue with their questions based on class activity 05/11/09. Creating a powerpoint presentation based on class activity questions 1-4. 


Students continued with their assignment and pursed the photos for the prsentation nite. Students present are Geogia, Emily and Rebekah. Justin absent today!

Students will write down short answers and research, record information about the Byzantine period. 

2. What is Byzantine art/period? 

Byzantine art is the art of the Byzantine Empire, centred in Constantinople which is now Istanbul in Turkey. 

Byzantine art was completely focused on the needs of the Orthodox Church, in the painting of icons and the decoration of churches with frescoes and mosaics. The artists of the Byzantine movement were given little in the way of personal expression. Since the movement was essentially supported and regulated by the church, each artisan was under the obligation to adhere to the church's request that their art reflect paintings of devotional planes that were important to both the religious and the secular life.

3. What were the restrictions as an artist within the Byzantine period? 

Despite the restriction of individuality, being an artist during the Byzantine Empire was considered to be an honourable profession that was either passed down from father to son or daughter or learned through the child's apprenticeship with a practicing master. The downfall to being an artist during this period is perhaps, that when it came to appreciation, individual recognition was extremely rare prior to the 13th- century.

4. How does it relate to us today? 

Class Activity: Assignment 4
Students will select an artist who they like and create a case study within Power Point or documented video or a traditional 500 word essay.


Some students have completed the assignment before due date - Awesome! Students present Justin, Beck, Emily and Georgia.


Year 9 Students Extension till 08/12/09 - Assignment "Iconography/Byzantine Art period"/ Georgia and Emily / Justin and Beck absent.


· subjective, structural, cultural and postmodern approaches to making artworks 

· Conceptual Framework 

· Demonstrate how art criticism and art history construct meanings.