Monday, September 15, 2003


Your summer holiday task forms the beginning of your I.B. Art practical work and research studies coursework upon which your entire final grade is based. It should therefore be completed to a very high standard of presentation and content.

The first part of the task is to produce written and illustrated research in your Research Workbook. The Research Workbook records your personal investigations, practical experimentation, historical and contextual studies and developing studio work in the form of essays, illustrations, notes, photographs etc. It accounts for 30 % of your final grade. From September onwards you will be expected to complete around 4 sides in this book each week.

 First get yourself a Research Workbook ! They Must be A4 size (30cm x 20cm approx.) hard bound (usually in black ) with 140 pages (280 sides). They normally cost around €15. I know it seems a bit mean expecting you to buy your own, but if I bought everyone a book then we’d have less money for paint, paper, clay etc. etc…. Also I feel students are less likely to leave their book on the bus, or drop it in the river if is their own.

The Research tasks:

Part One : During the summer you are to visit at least one gallery or exhibition (it doesn’t have to be in Rome). Write and illustrate a review of your visit. It is often better to write about work that you have seen which you like - but it isn’t essential. Whether your critical writing is positive or negative, it must be thoughtful - not just “I don’t like this, it’s boring” or “ I like this because it’s realistic”. You’ve all done critical writing in your G.C.S.E. Art course - remember?!!! Consider issues such as:

 Scale - how does a work of art’s size affect the viewer (and how is seeing an actual work of art different from seeing a reproduction in a book ?)
 Materials - what is it created from ?- why? - what effect does the material give?
 Content - what does the work represent ? does it tell a story ? Does the time and place in which the piece was made affect the style and intended meaning of the work? give your personal interpretation.
 The Artist - Who ? When ?
 Even basic descriptions of colour, shapes etc. are useful - how is the mood or atmosphere of a piece affected by the artists use of colour, texture, line, pattern etc. ?
 Value judgement - is the piece successful ? Why ?

Part Two : Record a visit to a specific building, built environment or monument. Examples: Piazza Navona, The Pantheon or Trajan’s Column etc. etc. They don’t have to be “old”, but it’s probably best to avoid writing about “the porchetta stall near my house” !

In your written and illustrated report, record your observations whilst considering issues such as:

 Scale - how does the building, monument or built environment relate on a “human scale” - does it “dwarf” people - why? (to impress, to accommodate a specific use, to inspire fear, devotion etc.)
 Inspiration/style - can you see any connections with art or design movements (Art Nouveau, Neo Classical, Art Deco, Modernism? Etc.)
 Decoration - is it decorated ? Why? - Why would you decorate a building? In what style ? Describe - organic (plant forms etc.), geometrical simplicity etc .
 How well does the space, monument or building fulfil its intended role ?
 How does it relate to the location in which it is placed (natural environment, other buildings etc.?)

Part Three: Design and create a poster for World Food Day.
The theme of the poster is ‘INTERNATIONAL ALLIANCE AGAINST HUNGER’. Your poster can be between 30 x 40 cm and 50 x 70 cm (see me for paper). Aim to illustrate the idea of self help rather than hand outs to the poor. Have a look at for more ideas. Do a couple of pages of research and studies in your book before making the final poster. Be bold – which posters do you remember most clearly ? which were most effective in communicating their message to you?

Remember lots of nice drawings, clear legible notes, a few photographs - this is the start of your Research Workbook - make it look attractive and interesting. Total 12 sides upwards, split between the three tasks.


G. MORGAN 2003

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