Artworks without recognisable subjects, although objects or people can be used as a reference point to create an abstract image.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts are a rich contribution to the world's culture and to Australia's diverse contemporary culture and national identity. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander arts include classical, traditional and contemporary practice, including all new forms of cultural expression.
Refers to those principles governing the nature and appreciation of beauty, especially in visual art. Academically speaking, aesthetics refers to the branch of philosophy which deals with issues of beauty and artistic taste.
Identify components and the relationship between them; draw out and relate implications.
Assess the value or quality of.
Make a judgement about the value of.
The artistic practice or technique of re-working images from well-known artists.
The specific shape or quality an artistic expression takes, such as dance, drama, media arts, music and visual artworks.
Abilities required to conceive, design and produce works of art through the manipulation and control of tools, materials and media.
The classification of the area of art in which an artist is working; for example, ceramics, painting, sculpture or photography.
An object made of pieces fitted together; a form of sculpture comprised of "found" objects.
A way of organising the parts of a design so that one side differs from the other without destroying the overall balance and harmony: also called informal balance.
Individuals or groups of people who experience the arts in a range of settings and contexts such as formal, informal, virtual or interactive through intellectual, emotional and social engagement. The artist is audience to their own artwork.
A principle of art that refers to the way the art elements are arranged to create a feeling of stability in the work; for example, symmetrical, formal, asymmetrical, informal or radial.
The conflict between the Protestant Reformation and the Catholic Counter-Reformation set the stage in the Baroque period (1580 – 1700 CE) for competing types of art. In general, the countries of northern Europe rejected religious imagery because of the Protestant Reformation. Protestants believed that religious paintings violated the 2nd Commandment against graven images. Thus, much Baroque art from those countries includes landscapes, portraits and still-life paintings. In other parts of Catholic Europe, artists of the Baroque period painted dramatic images, including religious themes, characterised by energy, tension and sharp contrasts of light and dark intensity.
Items put on to decorate and embellish oneself
body of work
A body of work represents a purposeful selection of an artists’ works; the body of work is usually linked by a common subject matter, style, concept, technique, etc.
The process of creating functional and non-functional art forms out of clay.
Chiaroscuro is an Italian term which translates as light-dark and refers to the balance and pattern of light and shade in a painting or drawing.
Imitating, referencing or having the general characteristics of the art and culture of Ancient Rome or Greece. Classical characteristics include idealised beauty, restraint, harmony and balance.
Unity of concept or intention, usually a logical or natural connection is apparent.
To work with another person or group to achieve or do something.
Artwork made by attaching pieces of paper or other materials to a flat surface.
An element of art with:
- properties of hue, such as the colour name; for example, red, blue
- properties of intensity, such as the purity and strength of the colour; for example, bright red, dull red
- properties of value, such as the lightness or darkness of a colour.
Show how things are similar or different.
Complementary colours are pairs of colours that contrast with each other more than any other colour, and when placed side-by-side make each other look brighter.
The placement or arrangement of elements or parts in artworks.
Conceptual art is art for which the idea, or concept, behind the work is more important than the finished art object. It emerged as an art movement in the 1960s and the term usually refers to art made from the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s.
Contemporary art is defined as art that is current, offering a fresh perspective and point of view, and often employing new techniques and new media. Current art means works by both emerging and established artists.
The arrangement of opposite elements such as light vs dark colours, rough vs smooth textures, large vs small shapes in an artwork to create visual interest.
Traditional or culturally accepted ways of doing things based on audience expectations. Each art form has hundreds of conventions built up over time and widely accepted by audiences. The term ‘artistic conventions’ can be applied to styles commensurate with the production of:
- technical ‘rules’.
The excusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic or musical material.
copyright (2) regarding Indigenous cultural and intellectual property
Indigenous cultural and intellectual property (ICIP) refers to the rights that Indigenous people have, and want to have, to protect their traditional arts and culture.
An intellectual and physical activity where artists explore the materials and processes to produce unique objects for the purposes of experimentation with form or function, exhibition, production and personal or community need. Indigenous cultures draw no distinction between art and craft and, similarly, contemporary culture values the interplay between the art and craft, design and craft, the art and designer, or the design and maker. The crafted and handmade sit alongside the manufactured design object as part of historical, national and cultural identities.
Add a degree or level of accuracy, depth, knowledge and understanding, logic, questioning, reflection and quality to analysis and evaluation.
Show by example.
Provide characteristics and features.
Plan or blueprint for a visual work of art as well as the outcome or product of applying; may also refer to Design in terms of technology and functional art.
Computer-generated art forms including digital imaging, painting and drawing with a graphics tablet, animation, 3D printing, pixel art, factual art and algorithm and net art.
Technology driven by computer access with emphasis on web-based and print output design.
Measurement in one direction. A two-dimensional (2-D) work of art has the two dimensions of length and width; a three-dimensional (3-D) work of art has the three dimensions of length, width, and depth.
Identify issues and provide points for and against.
A tension or clash resulting from the combination of two disharmonious or unsuitable elements.
To create a record of something through writing or record keeping.
Art forms where the process and product need to be recorded and described in order to share out of time and place; for example, performance art.
A picture or diagram made with a pencil, pen, or crayon rather than paint.
elements and principles of design
Components that comprise a work of art such as line, colour, shape, texture, form and space.
A principle of art that refers to a way of combining elements to stress the differences between those elements and to create one or more centres of interest in an artwork.
Environmental art, or eco-art, is an umbrella term for Romanticism, eco-realism, and Gaia art: three movements which seek to promote humanity's interconnectedness to the natural world and criticise the destruction of our environment.
Ephemeral art forms
Is subject to the effects of time, is transitory and generally has a beginning and end. Often involves artistic interventions with the natural environment and the physical effects of time on the artwork.
Make a judgement based on criteria; determine the value of.
Expressionism refers to art in which the image of reality is distorted in order to make it expressive of the artist’s inner feelings or ideas.
The action or process of manufacturing or inventing something.
A type of art using fibres, yarn and fabric as the medium to create tactile forms and images through surface design, weaving and construction techniques.
The visible shape or configuration of something.
Common or unusual objects that may be used to create a work of art; specifically refers to scrap, discarded materials that have been “found” and used in artworks.
Functional objects such as dishes and clothes that are of a high artistic quality and craftsmanship; art with a utilitarian purpose.
Category of art marked by a distinctive style, form or content, i.e. still life, portrait.
Gestural is a term used to describe the application of paint in free sweeping gestures with a brush.
The art of visual communication that combines images, words and ideas to convey information to an audience, especially to produce a specific effect.
In art, harmony is the combination or adaptation of parts, elements or related things to form a consistent and orderly whole.
hybrid art form
The combination of more than one art form within an artwork.
The combination of different things resulting in the development of a hybrid.
19th century art movement that rejected the historical themes and nostalgic images favoured by the academic and romantic painters of the day. The Impressionists looked to the life around them as the inspiration for their paintings of sunlit landscapes, middle-class people at leisure, and mothers with children. The many inventions of the Industrial Revolution included portable oil paints and easels that allowed the artist to break free of the studio and paint en plein air, out of doors, or from sketches done directly on the spot. This approach encouraged the use of spontaneous, unblended brushstrokes of vibrant colour by these artists.
The meaning an artist wishes to convey.
Draw meaning from.
To convey a meaning that is opposite of its literal meaning.
Support an argument or conclusion
A furnace in which clay is fired.
The subject matter category in which the main theme of the work is natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers, and lakes. Traditionally, the space depicted in a landscape is divided into three parts. The foreground is the part closest to you, the viewer. Objects in the foreground are usually larger and more detailed than other objects; they overlap other objects. Objects in the middle ground appear to be behind objects in the foreground. The background is the part of the painting farthest from the viewer. Objects in the background are usually smaller and less distinct than other objects in the work.
The act of drawing the human figure from a living model.
An enlarged representation, image or model.
The substances used in the creation of a work of art.
Physical resources; equipment including technologies and information used to make artworks. For example, paint, digital camera, pencil, drum or clarinet.
The material used in making an artwork.
A transformation in physical form or character.
A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else; the substitution of one idea or object with another.
A reduction in scale or proportion relative to other design elements.
Any artwork that uses more than one medium.
Refers to the overall art movement from the late 1800s to the early 1970s in which artists were primarily interested in how they presented their artistic ideas and issues rather than reproducing the world as it appears visually. This focus on the cultivation of individual style and artistic process led many modern artists toward an abstracted use of the elements of art. The new creative possibilities encouraged a great diversity of activity, and artists experimented with new visual formats and ideas. Reflecting this artistic diversity, Modernism can be considered as a larger heading under which several different art movements such as Impressionism, Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism all flourished in succession.
A decorative design or pattern; a distinctive feature or dominant idea in an artwork.
A tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time, usually a few months, years or decades, or, at least, with the heyday of the movement defined within a number of years.
A text may be defined as multimodal when it combines two or more semiotic systems: linguistic, visual, audio, gestural or spatial.
Surface treatment or decoration that is applied directly to a wall. A painted fresco is one form of a mural.
“New” classicism movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Neoclassicism was inspired by the classical style of ancient Greece and Rome, and the classical ideals of harmony, idealised realism, clarity and reason are all generally found in examples of neoclassical architecture, painting and sculpture.
Paintings are made of organic and inorganic materials which are put together by an artist to create a specific image. They form a simple construction consisting of one or more paint layers and a support for those layers.
A humorous or satirical imitation of a serious work.
The personal flavour imparted by the writer when he or she is engaged with a topic. The author’s attitude comes through in the writing.
System of representing three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface, giving the illusion of depth in space. Linear perspective deals with drawing, and atmospheric perspective attempts to use colour and value changes to get the effect of distance.
The art or practice of taking and processing photographs.
The illusionary space in a painting or other two-dimensional art that appears to recede backward into depth from the picture plane.
Pop art was a style of modern art in the 1960s that used the imagery of mass-media, mass-production, and mass-culture.
Subject matter category in which the main purpose of the artwork is to communicate a likeness of an individual or group of individuals.
A term used to describe the period of art which followed the modern period, i.e. from the 1950s until recently. The term implies a shift away from the formal rigors of the modernists, toward the less formally and emotionally stringent Pop artists, and other art movements which followed.
A person or thing that comes before another of the same kind; a forerunner.
Primary sources provide first-hand testimony or direct evidence concerning a topic under investigation. They are created by witnesses or recorders who experienced the events or conditions being documented. Often these sources are created at the time when the events or conditions are occurring, but primary sources can also include autobiographies, memoirs and oral histories recorded later.
The category of fine art printing processes, including etching, lithography, woodcut and silkscreen, in which multiple images are made from the same metal plate, heavy stone, wood or linoleum block, or silkscreen, with black-and-white or colour printing inks.
The relationship in size of one component of a work of art to another.
19th century art movement in which artists focused attention on ordinary people, such as peasants and laborers, who had not been pictured in art up to that time. Realists depicted real scenes from contemporary life, from city street scenes to country funerals. They tried to show the beauty in the commonplace, refusing to idealise or gloss over reality as Neoclassical and Romantic artists had.
Artwork that attempts a photographic likeness of the subject matter; sometimes refers to the choice of subject that is commonplace as opposed to courtly and idealised.
The reform of the Christian church initiated by Martin Luther in Germany from about 1520 and resulting in the split of the church into Catholic and Protestant sects. In Britain, the Reformation was brought about by Henry VIII. Protestantism was vehemently against all religious imagery and church decoration. Under Henry, and particularly his son Edward VI, the Reformation was followed by a comprehensive destruction, known as iconoclasm, of the rich medieval art and architecture of Britain. From then until the middle of the 18th century, art in Britain consisted almost exclusively of the purely secular form of portraiture. There were some exceptions such as post-reformation art.
Literally means “rebirth.” The Renaissance period in Europe lasted from the 14th century through the 16th century and was distinguished by a renewed interest in classical art, architecture, literature and philosophy.
Completed with a level of refinement and clarity of purpose and vision.
Late 18th and early 19th century movement that emphasised the values of passionate emotion and artistic freedom. Romanticism was a philosophical attitude that emphasised emotion, imagination, mystery and the pursuit of one’s unique destiny. The Romantics had a deep fascination with historical literature and artistic styles that stood in contrast to a world that was becoming increasingly industrialised and developed.
Object carved or modelled in wood, stone, etc, or cast in metal for an aesthetic, non-functional purpose, or the process of producing it, hence sculptor. "Sculptural" is used to describe art. including painting and drawing, that has pronounced three-dimensional qualities.
Secondary sources are less easily defined than primary sources. Generally, they are accounts written after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. They are interpretations and evaluations of primary sources. Secondary sources are not evidence, but rather commentary on and discussion of evidence.
The subject matter category in which the main purpose of the artwork is to show inanimate objects.
Artwork that is created in a public space, typically without official permission. The term gained popularity during the graffiti art boom of the early 1980s and continues to be applied to subsequent incarnations. Stencil graffiti, wheat-pasted poster art or sticker art and street installation or sculpture are common forms of modern Street art. Video projection, yarn bombing and Lock on sculpture became popularised at the turn of the 21st century.
Refers to the visual appearance of a work of art that relates it to other works by the same artist or from the same period, training, location, "school", art movement or archaeological culture.
The act of stylising; using artistic forms and conventions to create a desired effect.
Theory developed by Edmund Burke in the mid-18th century, where he defined sublime art as art that refers to a greatness beyond all possibility of calculation, measurement, or imitation.
Express, concisely, the relevant details.
Collection of materials that show the development of, and further inform the context of the work in question.
A thing that represents or stands for something else; a mark or character used as a conventional representation of an object, function or process.
A way of organising the parts of a design so that one side duplicates or mirrors the other.
The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
To combine to form a new, complex product.
The method, procedure or way something is done.
The term ‘technologies’ should be understood, in its widest sense, to encompass the application of devices, tools, machines, techniques and processes to the production of artistic works. The following may be considered technologies in the context of this course:
- brushes, spatulas, cutting tools and pottery wheels
- computer systems: their selection or use may be appropriate in specific studios or tasks
- the care and maintenance of art tools and equipment.
Element of art that refers to the perceived surface quality or “feel” of an object – its roughness, smoothness, softness, etc. Artworks can deal with the actual physical texture of a surface or the illusion of texture, depending on the aim of the artist.
A subject or topic of discourse or of artistic representation.
Time-based art can span a wide range of material, from video and sound artworks to film or slide-based projections and includes software-based art and technology-based installations and projections. Time-based media or the ‘moving image’ is also referred to as the 4th Dimension.
The lightness or darkness of a colour or value.
To change the nature, function or condition of; to alter or be altered radically in form or function.
The act of exchanging or substituting.
Refers to the visual quality of wholeness or oneness that is achieved through effective use of the elements of art and principles of design.
In making and responding to artworks, students consider a range of viewpoints or perspectives through which artworks can be explored and interpreted. These include the contexts in which the artworks are made by artists and experienced by audiences. The world can be interpreted through different contexts, including social, cultural and historical contexts.
A system that communicates through visual elements. It is perceived by our eyes and interpreted by our brain, which receives the signal and transforms into sensations, emotions, actions and thoughts.
Visual literacy is the ability to interpret, negotiate and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image.
Visual thinking, also called visual, or spatial, learning or picture thinking is the phenomenon of thinking through visual processing.
The context and purpose of art, design or architectural works.
Structural devices used in art, design or architectural works; the synergy created by fusing two or more ideas or images or manipulating one idea or image into another form or state.
The making of individually designed pieces of hand-made clothing and accessories as artistic expressions.