Level 2

Visual Arts clarification

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91305, 91306, 91307, 91308, 91309: Demonstrate an understanding of methods and ideas from established practice appropriate to design/painting/photography/printmaking/sculpture

Updated December 2014. This document has been updated in its entirety to highlight key issues identified through moderation.

Understanding of methods and ideas

Understanding means describing how methods of the particular field (materials, techniques, colour, composition, etc.) are used to communicate ideas (visual effects, narrative, meaning, symbolism).

Informed and in-depth understanding

Informed understanding means explaining how particular visual or technical features are used to create effects or communicate meaning. Explanations need to identify relationships with the approaches of other artists and wider environmental contexts. Students must have identified and processed relevant information from a variety of appropriate sources.

In-depth understanding means the analysis of how specific features are used to create particular effects or communicate personal meaning. Students need to evaluate key artistic and social influences, and may include original ideas. Discussions must be supported by evidence from a range of independent research sources.

Selection of artists

A useful approach is to investigate at least one traditional, one contemporary, and one New Zealand approach to the same theme. The number of art works analysed needs to provide students with sufficient opportunity for all levels of achievement. Artists from other fields may be used in addition to, but not instead of, field-specific examples.

Appropriate evidence

Evidence must:

  • refer to specific art works
  • use correct field terminology
  • be language based (written or verbal) 
  • be in the students own words (authenticity)
  • identify the key features of each art work (methods and ideas)
  • discuss how the work relates to wider contexts (artistic, technological, geographic, social, cultural, political, historical)
  • be supported by information from appropriate research sources (quotes or summary).
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