Based on a model by Margaret Marsh
Title of artwork
Date of artwork
Place artwork was produced
Name of artist
Artist place of birth
Dates of artist’s life
This is your personal response to the art work.
What is you first impression?
Does the date indicate anything to you?
What is the artist’s gender or nationality? Is this information useful, and if so how?
Comment on the dimensions of the artwork.
Comment on the placement or site of the work.
What materials have been used?
What techniques have been used?
Does this artwork remind you of any others you have seen? Comment.
Sketch part of the artwork.
Discuss line, shape, colour, tone, texture, space, perspective, light, composition, and other elements of design.
Sketch the composition.
What did you notice? Discuss balance, focal point, scale, dominance, discord, and harmony
Is the composition familiar to you? If so how?
List all the images and objects. Details included.
Are there parts within the artwork which you recognise from other artworks, or sources? e.g.symbols? Comment.
List everything you are reminded of from life, television, film, your experiences, associations, memories, imaginings.
Is there anything left out of the artwork?
Update your response.
Does the artwork suggest a mood?
How does it make you feel?
Discuss the qualities of emotion and atmosphere in the work.
What devices has the artist used to create or achieve these?
To extend this personal response into a wider social, political, and cultural context we can now explore perspectives of gender, race, class, and place.
Is the artwork about gender? Discuss the terms of male/ femaleness, feminist issues, stereotypes, identity, body image, and other issues. Look at values and roles regarding family, work, equality, patriarchy and power.
Is the artwork about race? Discuss issues related to multiculturalism, customs, identity, nationalism, ritual, prejudice, and religion.
Is the artwork about class? Discuss issues related to status,power, authority, social class, working class, middle class, upper class, values, attitudes, popular culture, mass culture.
Is the artwork about place? Discuss issues of location, identity, environment. Is it urban, landscape, desert, historical, ecological?
These perspectives can give you concepts and vocabulary to find meanings from the evidence you have gathered from the artwork in your personal response.
Other considerations. What do others think? What have historians, or other artists or critics said about the artwork?
Research what was happening in society at the time the work was produced.
Other Interpretive Frameworks
Refer to VCAA website for the VCE Art Study Design (Unit 4).