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surface can bring out beautiful, exquisite colours, even on a plain surface.


Changes of light make outdoor sculpture all the more exciting, but in a museum it entirely depends on the curator’s choice of lighting.


Touch


Textures in sculpture greatly appeal to the sense of touch, helping us to interact with it in a tactile way.


Sculptural works


Look at and evaluate the various sculptural works shown here from different times and places. Use some of the headings and questions in the next section to help with your analysis.


Key questions to ask when looking at sculpture


* Subject: What is the subject of this sculpture? What is happening in the work?


What might it represent?


* Form: Does this sculpture have a strong presentation? Why do you think this? Does


it look best directly from the front? Would it look good from different sides? Where do you see angles? Is the work well lit? Is the lighting picking up the subtleties of the surface?


* Context or location: Do you think this work was planned for this space? Would it feel


different to look at it in another setting? Can you think of somewhere the work would have more/less impact?


* Positive and negative space: How does the sculpture react with the space inside and


around it?


* Scale: Do you think the size of the sculpture affects the way it is perceived? Would the


piece still work at a much larger or a much more intimate scale?


* Material: Why do you think the artist chose xx APPRECIATING ART


this material? How have the materials been used? Do you think these decisions affect the content?


* Function: Does this sculpture have a purpose or a function?


Writing about art


Writing an art history essay is similar to writing an essay for English or history. It just needs a slightly different approach and different observational skills. You need visual vocabulary to convey visual impressions, but the writing itself can be quite individual.


Planning and writing an art history essay


‘It can be argued that the most impressive early tombs in Ireland were passage graves.’


Discuss this statement with reference to one named passage grave and two other types of named tombs from either the mesolithic or neolithic periods. In your answer, describe and discuss their structure, decoration and location.


and


Briefly discuss what you know about the people who built these tombs and their spiritual beliefs. Illustrate your answer.


To prepare this essay from the 2014 Higher Level paper, you first need to establish what you need to know and then how to discuss these facts.


Discuss The task is to discuss, so you need to:


* Explore: What is the reason? Why did this happen?


* Study: Study the facts: who, what, where, when, why and how.

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