The Visual Arts ATAR course encompasses the practice and theory of the broad areas of art, craft and design. Students have opportunities to express their imagination, develop personal imagery, develop skills and engage in the making and presentation of artwork. They develop aesthetic understandings and a critical awareness that assists them to appreciate and make informed evaluations of art.
This course places value on divergence, uniqueness and individuality. It assists students to value and develop confidence in their own creative abilities and to develop a greater understanding of their environment, community and culture. The Visual Arts ATAR course engages students in a process that helps them develop motivation, self-esteem, discipline, collaborative practice and resilience, all of which are essential life skills.
Within contemporary society, there is increasing demand for visual literacy: the ability to perceive, understand, interpret and evaluate visual information. The Visual Arts ATAR course enables students to develop their visual literacy and communication skills and become discriminating in their judgements.
In Visual Arts ATAR students transform and shape ideas to develop resolved artwork. They engage in art-making processes in traditional and new media areas, which involve exploring, selecting and manipulating materials, techniques, processes, emerging technologies and responses to life. This course allows them to engage in traditional, modern and contemporary art forms, such as sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, collage, ceramics, textiles, , montage and multimedia.
Visual Arts – Year 11
Unit 1 Differences
The focus for this unit is differences. Students may, for example, consider differences arising from cultural diversity, place, gender, class and historical period. Differences relating to art forms, media and conventions may also provide a stimulus for exploration and expression.
Students explore ways of collecting, compiling and recording information and documenting thinking and working practices. They explore approaches to drawing and develop awareness that each artist has his or her particular way of making marks to convey personal vision. Students examine how visual language and media choices contribute to the process of conveying function and meaning, and use a range of media and technologies to explore, create, and communicate ideas.
Students recognise that visual artwork is subject to different interpretations and appreciate that informed responses should take into account the varying contexts within which a work of art is created. They develop awareness of styles of representation, examining distinctly individualistic approaches of artists in different times and places.
Unit 2 Identities
The focus for this unit is identities. In working with this focus, students explore concepts or issues related to personal, social, cultural or gender identity. They become aware that self-expression distinguishes individuals as well as cultures. Students use a variety of stimulus materials and use a range of investigative approaches as starting points to create artwork. They develop a personal approach to the development of ideas and concepts, making informed choices about the materials, skills, techniques and processes used to resolve and present their artwork.
Students develop understandings of the personal and/or public functions of art in the expression of identity, for example, spiritual expression, psychological expression, therapy, ceremony and ritual, and the purposes of art, such as narrative – telling personal stories or exploring myths. They understand that art may give form to ideas and issues that concern the wider community.
Response to artwork stimulates insights, encourages deeper understandings, and challenges preconceived ideas. Students develop an awareness of how the visual arts may be both socially confirming and questioning, analyse their own cultural beliefs and values and develop deeper understandings of their own personal visual arts heritage.
Visual Arts – Year 12
Unit 3 Commentaries
The focus for this unit is commentaries. In this unit, students engage with the social and cultural purposes of art making to produce a unique and cohesive body of work. Broad and innovative inquiry includes the conceptualisation and documentation of experiences within contemporary society. Students transform ideas and develop concepts using innovative approaches to art making and presentation. They document their thinking and working practices, having the flexibility to work across media and art forms.
Students research artwork providing critical comment on the meaning, purpose and values communicated. They examine their own beliefs and consider how the visual arts have reflected and shaped society in different times and places.
Consideration is given to the roles of artists in different societies, for example, hero, outsider, commentator and social critic. Students investigate the social functions of art, for example political and ideological expression, satire, social description or graphic communication. They address the relationship between form, function and meaning and develop understandings of how artists are influenced by pervasive ideas, events and circumstances, and how re-contextualisation contributes to meanings and messages in artwork.
Unit 4 Points of View
The focus for this unit is points of view. Students identify and explore concepts or issues of personal significance in the presentation of a sustained, articulate and authentic body of work. They engage in sustained inquiry, exploring ideas and developing concepts to communicate a personal point of view.
Students investigate a range of solutions using visual language and document the progressive resolution of thinking and working practices. Skills, techniques and processes are combined in the pursuit of new art forms, innovation and personal style.
Students use critical analysis frameworks to develop an understanding of the practice of art making and art interpretation. They research and analyse factors affecting points of view such as time, place, culture, religion and politics, synthesising this knowledge to express a personal viewpoint or position. In the analysis of their own and others’ artwork, students reflect on the relationship between artwork, audiences and contextual factors, and consider how these contribute to the development of different perspectives.