- Is it art? Discussion/debate about whether given pictures are ‘art’.
- Shock and Awe. Do students agree with Berlinde De Bruyckere’s opinion about the purpose of art?
- What came first? Students put artworks in order based on when they believe it was created. Provides stimulus for discussion and also can be used as a prior knowledge activity.
- Identify Bias. Provide a collection of the ‘best ever artists’ or ‘best ever artworks’. Do students agree? Does the collection represent the best art of the world or does it focus on European artists? Should Van Gogh be included on the list even though he only sold one artwork during his life time? Who decides what ‘great art’ is?
- Other hooks: Can polka dots be art? Can animations be art? Meet the 11-year-old who sells paintings for $50,000.
Is it art? Discussion/debate about whether given pictures are ‘art’.
- I gave students a page with artworks on it (all artworks were from an art gallery we were going to visit at the end of the unit). Students discussed with a peer which pictures were and weren’t art. Students engaged in very passionate debate.
- At the end of the unit we went to the art gallery and students were really excited to see artworks in the gallery which they had originally said weren’t art.
I would recommend also showing students artworks from your local art gallery, but here are examples of the ones I used:
Resource: Is it art? Photos of art to discuss.
Shock and Awe. Do students agree with Berlinde De Bruyckere opinion about the purpose of art?
“If it is a little bit shocking and a little disturbing, that’s the role of art in the society that we live in now. It is supposed to change our thinking.” Berlinde De Bruyckere
Do you agree with Berlinde’s opinion? Did this artist achieve her purpose?
Alternatively, do students agree with letters to the local newspaper The Advertiser proclaiming De Bruyckere’s horses as “disgusting”, “evil”, “perverse”, revolting” and “the product of sick and evil minds”, with one writer going as far to declare that “Mr Mitzevich should be sacked on the spot for presenting such a perverse and evil piece of so-called art”. (Source: http://www.fineprintmagazine.com/its-not-art/, Author: Caitlin Eyre)
- Berlinde De Bruyckere Education Kit
What came first? Students put artworks in order based on when they believe it was created. Provides stimulus for discussion and can be used as a prior knowledge activity.
Examples (left to right) show: Kulpidga Anindilyakwa people, Northern Territory Australia; We Hunt Mammoth (2015) Claire Healy & Sean Cordeiro; The Bridge Dorrit Black; A holiday at Mentone Charles Conder; Ngayuku ngura (2017) Barbara Mbitjana Moore.
Points of interest:
- Colours/materials of traditional Aboriginal art compared with contemporary Aboriginal art.
- The Bridge shows a time in history when the Sydney Harbour Bridge was under construction
- A holiday at Mentone shows a different time in the way the beach was used, as bathing was segregated and took place at busy beaches in bathing enclosures, such as that shown (in part) on the right of the work. Also shows the clothes of the time period.
- We Hunt Mammoth shows two different time periods together, with a modern vehicle and a traditional packaging technique. The work is about the life-cycle of an object.
(Information sourced from the Art Gallery of South Australia http://www.artgallery.sa.gov.au/agsa/home/Collection/)
- What is art?
- How has art changed?
- What makes ‘great’ art?
- What did you notice about the different styles of art?
Identify Bias: Provide a collection of the ‘best ever artists’ or ‘best ever artworks’. Do students agree?
Does the collection represent the best art of the world or does it focus on European artists? Should Van Gogh be included on the list even though he only sold one artwork during his life time? Who decides what ‘great art’ is?
Examples of lists students could analyse/discuss:
Other possible hooks/stimulus
Can polka dots be art?
Can animations be art? Is it ‘real’? (Andreas Wannerstedt, Graphic Designer)
Meet the 11-year-old who sells paintings for $50,000
General Art Resources
“How to look at art” by the Art Gallery of South Australia
Artwork to analyse: This resource includes artwork from different countries, different artistic styles, and different artistic mediums.
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