Reaction to Leaving Cert 2021 Art History and the Appreciation of Art (Higher Level) by Declan Kelly, Art History teacher at The Institute of Education.
This was a very fair and extremely well written exam. Whoever wrote the paper was very aware of the challenges that covid has presented to students and made the questions as fair and generous as possible.
A lot of the core topics were covered and students still had to put the work and effort in. Teachers should be happy and students will be delighted with this paper.
There was a really good mix of iconic images presented, that would be familiar to students. They were a good size, and had lovely clarity.
Due to changes this year students had to answer 2 questions from 2 sections. Normally they have to answer 3 questions from each of 3 sections.
SECTION 1 – ART IN IRELAND
The first four questions here were fantastic and I would imagine that students would have chosen to do one of these.
Question 1 was a lovely open-ended question on the Stone Age. This was a great start to the paper and it would have relaxed students to see it.
Question 2 was also an excellent combination question on the Bronze Age and Iron Age in Ireland. This was a generous question on a core topic on the syllabus and again students would have been very happy to see it.
It was lovely to see Alice Maher, one of our greatest contemporary artists, appear in question 7,
SECTION 2: EUROPEAN ART
There was a lovely selection of questions in this section and they really gave us a bit of everything, from romoanseque to the renaissance, to Renoir, Giotto and more.
Romanesque sculpture and architecture came up in question 8. If students had covered this they would have been very happy with this question.
Piet Mondrian appeared in question 13. It was lovely to see him appear on the paper after his recent exhibition in the National Gallery.
SECTION 3: APPRECIATION OF ART
Normally this is the section where students can start to panic with time. However, that pressure was gone this year.
Question 16 was interesting and open-ended and asked students to discuss the experience of visiting an exhibition space in reality versus online.