Review of History & Appreciation of Art Higher Level paper by Angela Griffith, Art History teacher at The Institute of Education.
One of fairest papers in quite some time. If students took their time and read the question headings carefully, and referred to the accompanying illustrations, they had every opportunity to reach their full potential. There were no trick questions. Questions were well phrased and it was well illustrated. Students could use the images to help structure and formulate their answers. This paper was for the student.
Irish Section: Unlike other years when comparisons were asked for between periods, this year’s paper allowed students to focus on a singular cultural period. There were no surprises and old faithfuls such as the Pre- Christian and Early Irish Art sections and Georgian architecture in the Irish section were present and very approachable.
Ireland’s favourite painting – Burton’s Meeting on the Turret stairs appeared and this was a good thing given the amount of publicity afforded to the work over the last year or so. This was a topical and relevant question.
European Section: There was a good choice here relating to the Gothic period, the Renaissance – Italian and Northern. Other periods such as the Baroque – Italian and Dutch and the Impressionists and Cubism – were all referred to as well.
The only issue that may have caught students out in this section was the specific referencing of a lesser known Paulo Uccello work. However the question was illustrated and students could apply what they knew of the artist and the movement to the image.
Appreciation of Art Section: The Appreciation section had the expected exhibition question which was very well phrased and allowed students to be somewhat creative, but in a controlled and structured way, when they were invited to curate their own exhibition for their school.
Film questions, poster design and digital imagery, architectural restoration and packaging again were well phrased and gave students clear instructions on how to approach the questions but also gave scope for creative thinking. ‘The Gathering’ made an appearance in this section, with students asked to outline their visual ideas for a short film to celebrate the event.