Exam Review: Art

By Orla Forde Wilson, Yeats College Art teacher:

The Visual Art was a well-balanced paper overall. I would say it was well received by students.

The exam was straightforward in its approach and gave our students the best possible chance to showcase their abilities.

Section A: Today’s World was a well-balanced section; It contained some very straightforward questions. In one such question, students were asked to identify a contemporary living Artist. This, I am sure, would have calmed any apprehensive student.

Students, like the previous year, were asked to answer five out of seven questions. This section focused on discussing unseen paintings, a discussion of a contemporary sculptor, textiles art and other similar works. Students had to consider elements such as imagery, mood, colour, composition, media, materials, and processes. These five questions would have allowed students to showcase their understanding and analysis skills.

Section B: Students would have been very pleased to see the highly anticipated Gothic question. It was certainly student-friendly; Students were asked to discuss the development of Gothic churches from its infancy to its later stages. They had to discuss context, layout, construction, sculptures, subject matter, art elements and design principles.

Section C: Some students might have found question 1 challenging, particularly the layout of the question on Pre-Christian Ireland. Students were asked to discuss the development of motif on stone and metalwork throughout this period.

This discussion would have allowed for an in-depth account of individual objects where they explored the motifs and stone working techniques that were used to decorate stone-age and metal objects. Furthermore, they would have discussed the individual highly skilled craft workers who created such motifs.

Overall, students were happy with the exam. An enjoyable paper with no major surprises.