Sunday, April 09, 2006

Year 12 I.B Art

Easter task (included in RWB work from 10th April – 10th may)

Critical & Contextual Research

Writing about and comparing the art & artefacts of a diverse range of peoples and cultures is often an aspect of the course which many students find difficult. Through your ongoing research into the work of other artists, designers and craftspeople you need to develop and display an understanding of the interactive relationship that exists between the sculptures, paintings, clothes, films, buildings, teacups, masks etc that have been made by and the people that made them and for whom they were made.

For example: Italian Futurist Art was inspired by the technology of the heavily mechanized era in which it was created. Electricity, aircraft, racing cars etc were all exciting new phenomena at the start of the 20th Century. Artists such as Balla and Severini made works that expressed the energy and movement of the new world around them. This mood of optimism was killed (along with many of the artists that made up the Futurist movement) by the horrors of modern warfare that began with the First World War in Europe. Could you imagine artists working in the polluted 21st Century making painting that praised the motorcar?

Part One: You are to produce 8 or more new pages of writing, diagrams and illustrations in which you answer the following critical and contextual question:

‘How do religious buildings from a variety of cultures reflect their function and the context within which they were created?’

You should focus on buildings that you have first hand knowledge of including the temples, churches, cathedrals, synagogues, mosques, chapels and other places of worship and religious gathering that you have visited in your life. Rome can offer you plenty of examples from a diverse range of cultures and religions if you have not visited such buildings elsewhere.

Talk about how the forms of the buildings (shape, height, scale in relation to humans, orientation (facing a specific direction) are related to their function. Explore how the decoration (or lack of it) reflects the beliefs, views and teachings of the people for whom the building was constructed. Is the building adorned with images of gods, and other representational imagery or geometrical patterns? Is the building elaborate or plain embellished with precious materials or kept simple? What is visible inside the structure? How does this relate to the processes of worship, prayer, gathering etc? Are there works of art inside? What is their function in the context of the building? Altars? Tombs? Monuments? Pulpits? Lecterns? Seating?

Links (to start you off...)



Ancient Greek

Hindu Temples


Japanese Buddhist Temples


Part Two:

Visit an exhibition or gallery. I particularly recommend the current exhibitions at MACRO (go and see for yourself). Respond to the works on show visually and through writing. Bear in mind the criteria that I have given you in previous handouts (‘How to look at a work of Art’ etc.) and the sort of things that you will be considering in Part One. You don’t have to ‘like’ something to respond successfully to it in a critical sense!

(5 sides or more)

Part Three:

Continue to develop your current project – write & illustrate a record of how it is proceeding and how it might develop in other ways. Make sure that you have done adequate additional research for your next project. The research and development work is graded along with the studio work itself – you have to show where your work came from and how and why it evolved.

(Total 20 sides or more) Use the links at for extra help