by Orla Forde Wilson
The higher-level paper in the History of Art was a fair exam which offered lots of choice to showcase our students’ knowledge and understanding of the three sections of the art and appreciation paper. Students should have been happy with the range of questions and especially the amendments to the paper this year.
In section 1 the students were given the choice of two questions. One focused on the Bronze Age where they were asked to discuss how the workers of the Bronze Age in Ireland developed and produced innovative high quality decorative artifacts. This allowed for a detailed discussion of Bronze objects, exploring form, function, decoration and techniques. As this question allowed the students to pick their preferred Bronze objects this gave the students the opportunity to discuss their object in great depth. With the second question in the Irish art section students were asked to focused on the Iron age. Students were asked to discuss the arrival of the Celts and how their arrival led to the development of stone carving, again this would allow our students to demonstrate their knowledge of Iron age stone carving.
Section 2: The widely anticipated Gothic question was certainly student-friendly. They would have been pleased to see how straightforward it was. Students were asked to pick their own gothic church and discuss ornamentation, layout construction techniques and stain glass. In the final part of the question students were asked to discuss a gothic sculpture.
Students were asked to discuss art galleries, museums, interpretative centres and how they use media and technology to engage visitors. The question in this section was very manageable and really didn’t deviate from the type of questions students are familiar with from their past exams.