Activity Introduction

pixels-heroQuick summary: In this activity students are asked to examine the three main forms of environmental art: 1. Art that is inspired by the natural world; 2. Art that celebrates personal engagement in nature; 3. Art that directly addresses environmental issues. Students are first asked to assess a number of different works of art, and then plan a series of environmental artworks based on the three categories of environmental art. Students present their planned artworks to the class for feedback.

Learning goals:

  • Students recognise that there are multiple forms of environmental art.
  • Students will critically analyse some visual intentions used by a a range of environmental artists.
  • Students recognise a range of visual conventions used by environmental artists.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking, Ethical understanding.

Australian Curriculum content description:

Years 9 & 10 Visual Arts

  • Conceptualise and develop representations of themes, concepts or subject matter to experiment with their developing personal style, reflecting on the styles of artists, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists (ACAVAM125)
  • Manipulate materials, techniques, technologies and processes to develop and represent their own artistic intentions (ACAVAM126)
  • Plan and design artworks that represent artistic intention (ACAVAM128)
  • Evaluate how representations communicate artistic intentions in artworks they make and view to inform their future art making (ACAVAR130)

Topic: Sustainability

Time required: 2 x 60 mins

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – oversee activity and facilitate discussion

Resources required: Internet access, access to library, student worksheet.

Digital technology opportunities: Digital sharing capabilities.

Homework and extension opportunities: Includes opportunities for extension.

Keywords: Environmental art, nature, artists.

Artworks used in this resource:

  1. Martin Hill – Ephemeral Environmental Sculpture Evoke Cycles of Nature
  2. Art collective luzinterruptus – Labyrinth of plastic waste
  3. Otherworldly Paper Sculptures – Chun Kwang Young
  4. Jason deCaires Taylor – Human Nature
  5. Andy Goldsworthy – Carefully broken pebbles scratched white with another stone
  6. Issac Cordal – Waiting for Climate Change

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.

Worksheets

Teacher Worksheet

painting-heroTeacher preparation:

Overarching learning goal: By participating in this activity students will recognise that there are multiple forms of environmental art. They will identify ways to critically analyse the intentions of a range of environmental artists and will recognise a range of visual intentions used by environmental artists.

Teacher content information: If creating and looking at art helps you to explore the world, then it makes sense that artists would incorporate the natural environment into their art. Increasingly, environmental art is being explored as a way of interrogating human relationships with the natural world and as a way of improving our relationship with nature.

However, not all environmental art is about taking environmental action. Broadly speaking, environmental art can be broken down into several loose categories:

  1. Art that describes the natural world;
  2. Art that celebrates personal engagement in the natural world; and
  3. Art that directly addresses environme
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Student Worksheet

Thought starter: Is landscape art environmental art?

What category of environmental art do you think these three works align with, what are the visual intentions of the artists, and what are the messages of these works? Answer the questions associated with each work: 

Work 1.

martin-hill-ephemeral-environmental-sculptures--Synergy-small

What is your first thought when looking at this image?

What type of environmental art do you think this represents (celebration of our environment, personal relationship to the environment, commentary about our environment)? Justify your answer:

What message do you think the artist is trying to convey in this work?

Work 2.

 

Describe this work in 25 words or less:

What visual conventions has the artist used in this work?

What type of environmental art do you think this represents (celebration of our environment, personal relationship to the environment, commentary about our environment)? Justify your answer:

Work 3:

Paper sculpture chun kwang young-small

What can you see?

What do you think is the visual intention of this work?

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