Level 3

Visual Arts clarification

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91440, 91441, 91442, 91443, 91444: Analyse methods and ideas from established design/painting/photography/printmaking/sculpture practice

Updated December 2016. This document has been updated in its entirety to address new issues that have arisen from moderation.

Sources of information

Students should select their own artists and research from two or more sources of information for each artist investigated. Biographical information is only relevant where it relates explicitly to the methods and ideas underpinning the art work.

Generic analysis templates can limit student responses and should be only used as research tools to gather and process information. Bibliographies are recommended as good practice.

Selection of artists

Students should explore at least three different artists. It may be useful to include at least one traditional artist, one contemporary artist and one New Zealand artist who share a similar thematic or technical concern. Artists and art works from beyond the field of the standard may be used in addition to, but not instead of, field-specific examples.

A comparative discussion may provide useful insights and understanding about how and why artists differ in their approaches for similar thematic or technical concerns.

Context and meaning

Students need to explain how identified visual and technical features are used to create specific effects and communicate particular meanings. Full explanations are supported with information from acknowledged reference sources, specific examples from the art work, and explicit reference to contextual influences.

In-depth and critical analysis will typically include the student’s own insight, supported by sustained and independent research from a wide range of appropriate sources. Students may also include an overview that outlines a global theory or draws conclusions about the different approaches to the theme or concept.

Appropriate evidence

Appropriate evidence will:

  • refer to both the methods and ideas of specific art works
  • use advanced field terminology (e.g. serif, sfumato, saturation, intaglio, installation)
  • be language based (written or verbal - drawing evidence is not required) 
  • be in the student’s own words (authenticity)
  • explain how the work relates to wider contexts (such as personal, artistic, technological, geographic, social, cultural, political, or historical)
  • be supported by information from appropriately referenced research sources (acknowledged quotations).
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