Course Title: Apply research and critical analysis to inform artistic and design practice

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2010

Course Code: BUSM6277

Course Title: Apply research and critical analysis to inform artistic and design practice

School: 340T Art

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5234 - Diploma of Visual Art

Course Contact : Ninna Cikoja

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4472

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Julia Powles -
Steve Cox -

Nominal Hours: 100

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This course describes the skills and knowledge required to research and critically analyse historical and theoretical concepts for application to own artistic and design practice. The course includes the need for critical analysis of information and own work and the challenging of different points of view to inform own personal work and philosophy.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VPAU011 Apply research and critical analysis to inform artistic and design practice


1 Conduct research to inform artistic/design practice

Performance Criteria:

  1.1 Identify relevant sources of information on history and theory
  1.2 Identify and explore potential new and alternative sources which are relevant to own practice
  1.3 Use advanced formal and informal research techniques appropriately to access information
  1.4 Organise research materials and findings for current and future use
  1.5 Identify and use opportunities to update and expand knowledge of history and theory  


2 Apply research to artistic/design practice

Performance Criteria:

  2.1 Critically evaluate research/information in the context of own artistic/design practice and the work of others
  2.2 Explore, investigate and experiment with information or new ideas in own work
  2.3 Explore, investigate and experiment with new technology(ies) in own work
  2.4 Incorporate sociological/historical/theoretical themes, motifs or styles of into own work
  2.5 Articulate and discuss reasons for incorporation of historical/theoretical influenced themes, motifs or styles in
        own work using appropriate and accurate terminology


3 Evaluate own work

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Seek and apply constructive criticism from others to improve own work  
  3.2 Evaluate own work against planned strategy for own art/design practice
  3.3 Evaluate own work in the context of work by others in order to extend own practice
  3.4 Adjust work processes and practice as necessary to improve technical, conceptual and commercial outcomes

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Conduct research to inform artistic/design practice
  • Apply research to artistic/design practice
  • Evaluate own work.

You will also have an understanding of:
  • Cultural, sociological and scientific theories, philosophies and issues and how they relate to own work and the work of others
  • The influences of philosophical concerns upon contemporary art and design both internationally and within Australia e.g. feminism, identity, post modernism, post colonialism, gender, Marxism, land and place, cultures, sub-cultures etc
  • Understanding and use of appropriate terminology as related to theories, philosophies and contemporary art and design
  • Histories including world, art, craft and design, film, the web and multimedia, religion, spirituality, aesthetics, politics
  • Role of art criticism including aesthetics, technique, social context and philosophical foundations
  • Understanding of new technologies and contemporary practices.

Details of Learning Activities

This Unit is divided into two classes: Art and Culture 1 and Art and Culture 2.

In Art and Culture 1 students will study all the significant movements in Western Art of the last 150 years. Beginning with the Victorian Period students will be introduced not only to the key practitioners, philosophies and theories in Western Art, but also to the broader societal influences and changes that occurred concurrently.

In Art and Culture 2 students will study the art of the last 30 years, with a focus on the impact of postmodernity and globilisation. Issues of Race, Gender, Politics and societal change will be examined through the work of key contemporary practitioners. Priority will be given to the reading and interpreting of contemporary art, which is often metaphorical and multi-layered.

Both classes will be delivered via lecture and group discussion with AV support.

Teaching Schedule

Theories of Art and Culture 1
Lecturer: Steve Cox

Week 1:   Orientation

Week 2:   Impressionism 1

Week 3:   Impressionism 2

Week 4:   Heidelberg School

Week 5:   Post Impressionism

Week 6:   Post Impressionism

Week 7:   Symbolism

Week 8:   Fauvism

week 9:    Cubism

Week 10: Expressionism 1

Week 11: Expressionism 2

Week 12: Dada

Week 13: Surrealism

Week 14: Surrealism

Week 15 Nazi Art and the art of the Holocaust

Week 16: Review

Week 17: Assessment

Week 18: Assessment

Theories of Art and Culture 2
Lecturer: Julia Powles

Week 1:    Orientation

Week 2:    Introduction and overview of the semester. How do we look at paintings?

Week 3:    Library tours

Week 4:    What is Postmodernism? – Part 1. “Blue Velvet” and constructed reality

Week 5:    What is Postmodernism? – Part 2. Looking at Deconstruction

Week 6:    The Rabbit in the Hat: Postmodernism and Storytelling

Week 7:    Nan Goldin. “I’ll be your Mirror” Personal Storytelling

Week 8:    The Sublime and Me. One of Julia’s many stories. Essay topic is handed out.

Week 9:    Copyright and Intellectual Property.

Week 9:    Metaphor and Mathew Barney – Fantasy and storytelling.

Week 10:    The Other. Stories of Difference

Week 11:    Woman is the Nigger of the World: Feminism and art.

Week 12:    Looking at Nothing. Abstraction and Minimalism

Week 13:    Marfa. Judd’s vision of purity.

Week 14:    The Trouble with Beauty. Essay is handed in.

Week 15:     Film: Hiroshima Mon Amor

Week 16:    Film: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Week 17:    Assessment
Week 18:     Assessment


Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

The 20th Century Art book. Phaidon 2007

Barnet, S. A short guide to writing about Art. harper Collins 1993

Overview of Assessment

To demonstrate competency in this course, you will need to complete the following evidence of assessment to a satisfactory standard. You will receive feedback on all assessment. On completion of this course, you will receive graded assessment.
Assessment may incorporate a range of methods to assess performance and the application of essential underpinning knowledge, and might include:

  • case studies
  • oral questioning/interview
  • projects/reports
  • portfolios of evidence.

Assessment must take place over a period of time in order to determine competence in the ongoing implementation and monitoring aspects of this unit. Assessment for this course is on going throughout the year.You will be tutored with a verbal and/or written evaluation of your progress, within class time. 

Assessment Tasks

Students are to submit one (1) essay per class per semester.

Essay topics will be given out during the semester

Assessment Matrix

Course Overview: Access Course Overview