Unit 3

Unit 3: Studio practices and processes

In this unit students focus on the implementation of an individual studio process leading to the production of a range of potential directions. Students develop and use an exploration proposal to define an area of creative exploration. They plan and apply a studio process to explore and develop their individual ideas. Analysis of these explorations and the development of the potential directions is an intrinsic part of the studio process to support the making of finished artworks in Unit 4.

For this study, the exploration proposal supports the student to identify a direction for their studio process. The student determines the studio process. This process records trialling, experimenting, analysing and evaluating the extent to which art practices successfully communicate ideas presented in the exploration proposal. From this process students progressively develop and identify a range of potential directions. Students will select some of these potential directions from which to develop at least two artworks in Unit 4.

The study of artists and their work practices and processes may provide inspiration for students’ own approaches to art making. Students investigate and analyse the response of artists to a wide range of source material and examine their use of materials and techniques. They explore professional art practices of artists from different historical and cultural contexts in relation to particular artworks and art forms.

The exhibition of artworks is integral to Unit 3 and students are expected to visit a variety of exhibitions throughout the unit, reflect on the different environments where artworks are exhibited and examine how artworks are presented to an audience. Students are expected to visit at least two different exhibitions and study specific artworks displayed in these exhibitions during their current year of study.

Area of Study 1

Exploration proposal

In this area of study students focus on the development of an exploration proposal that creates a framework for the individual studio process. The exploration proposal is written before the start of the studio process, however, this proposal may be expanded upon during the early stages of the studio process. The exploration proposal is developed on an individual basis and sets out the student’s creative responses to formulating the content and parameters of the studio process. The exploration proposal addresses the focus and subject matter to be developed, ideas to be explored and the art forms through which the studio process will be developed. It also includes the sources of inspiration, conceptual possibilities, use of art elements and art principles and aesthetic qualities to be investigated. Students identify the materials and techniques to be explored and developed in the planning of the studio process. The exploration proposal supports the development of art making in Unit 4 and remains a reference point for the reflection and analysis of the development of artworks throughout the studio process.

Area of Study 2

Studio process

In this area of study students progressively refine their ideas, techniques, materials and processes and aesthetic qualities discussed in the exploration proposal. Throughout the individual studio process, students keep a visual diary and investigate the focus, subject matter, sources of inspiration and art form/s through the exploration and development of ideas, materials, techniques, art elements, art principles and demonstration of aesthetic qualities. Students explore, clarify and consolidate ideas they have discussed in their exploration proposal. The studio process is developed in sufficient breadth and depth to support students to produce a range of potential directions that will be progressively developed and evaluated.

Students progressively present a range of potential directions. From this range they select at least two potential directions that will be used to generate artworks in Unit 4. Selected potential directions are considered and carefully evaluated to ensure the potential for the development of artworks. Students make selections based on the potential directions that most effectively communicate concepts, ideas and aesthetics, and which provide the scope to demonstrate the refinement of techniques and the application of materials appropriate to the communication of ideas.

Students further develop their understanding of key terminology associated with the art forms identified in their exploration proposal. Reflection, analysis and evaluation of experimental and developmental work are documented in written and visual annotations, providing clarification of ideas and working processes. Through these annotations students progressively record their thinking and working practices to support the development and realisation of their studio process.

Area of Study 3

Artists and studio practices In this area of study students focus on professional studio practices in relation to particular art forms. Students investigate the ways in which artists have interpreted subject matter, influences, historical and cultural contexts, and communicated ideas and meaning in their artworks. Students are required to study at least two artists and two artworks by each artist. They consider the artists’ use of materials, techniques and processes, and the use of art elements and art principles to demonstrate aesthetic qualities and styles in artworks.

Students compare the selected artists and artworks in different historical and cultural contexts. The artworks studied may have been made in the same historical period but in different cultural contexts. Students undertake research and apply appropriate terminology to studio practice and art making.

Through the study of recognised historical and contemporary artworks in a range of art forms, students develop analytical skills when investigating the artist’s choice of subject matter, the communication of ideas, the development of style, the use of materials and techniques, the use of art elements and art principles and the ways in which aesthetic qualities are created by the artist and perceived by the audience.


School-based assessment

Satisfactory completion

The award of satisfactory completion for a unit is based on whether the student has demonstrated the set of outcomes specified for the unit. Teachers should use a variety of learning activities and assessment tasks to provide a range of opportunities for students to demonstrate the key knowledge and key skills in the outcomes.

The areas of study and key knowledge and key skills listed for the outcomes should be used for course design and the development of learning activities and assessment tasks.

Assessment of levels of achievement

The student’s level of achievement in Unit 3 will be determined by School-assessed Coursework. School-assessed Coursework tasks must be a part of the regular teaching and learning program and must not unduly add to the workload associated with that program. They must be completed mainly in class and within a limited timeframe.

Where teachers provide a range of options for the same School-assessed Coursework task, they should ensure that the options are of comparable scope and demand.

The types and range of forms of School-assessed Coursework for the outcomes are prescribed within the Study Design. The VCAA publishes Advice for teachers for this study, which includes advice on the design of assessment tasks and the assessment of student work for a level of achievement.

Teachers will provide to the VCAA a numerical score representing an assessment of the student’s level of achievement. The score must be based on the teacher’s assessment of the performance of each student on the tasks set out in the following table.

Contribution to final assessment

School-assessed Coursework for Unit 3 will contribute 5 per cent to the study score. Outcome

Outcome 3

Examine the practice of at least two artists, with reference to two artworks by each artist, referencing the different historical and cultural context of each artwork.

Marks allocated* 30

Assessment tasks

Assessment tasks may include a combination of the following:

  • structured questions
  • an annotated visual report
  • an essay
  • a presentation using digital technologies
  • a series of short responses
  • an oral presentation with supporting visual evidence.

Total marks 30

*School-assessed Coursework for Unit 3 contributes 5 per cent.

School-assessed Task

Assessment for Studio Arts includes a School-assessed Task. The student’s level of performance in achieving Outcomes 1 and 2 in Unit 3, and Outcomes 1 and 2 in Unit 4, will be assessed through a School-assessed Task. Details of the School-assessed Task for Units 3 and 4 are provided on page 29 of this Study Design.

External assessment

The level of achievement for Units 3 and 4 is also assessed by an end-of-year examination, which will contribute 30 per cent.


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