Activity Introduction

Lord Howe_Joshua Yeldham_LessonFrameQuick summary: The first art lesson in this resource pack is designed to introduce students to the artist Joshua Yeldham and help them understand the artistic process involved in making art. Students will discover how an ‘Artist Residence’ can help inform and complement the creative process and why artists embark on new journeys to produce work. The second part of this lesson discusses the emotional and therapeutic elements of art and creativity and how creativity can help students feel and release emotions. Students will use current knowledge of art and experiences to understand the importance of art and artistic intent to develop their own opinions. 

Artist-in-residence programs permit artists to live and work in new environments, which allows them to research, produce, and reflect on their work. However, there is no specific order in which this might occur, and each artist develops their own varied approach to making art.

During the residency, the artist is encouraged to explore new locations and experiment with various materials and techniques. Much like an excursion or camp, residencies can end up having a long-term and remarkable impact on how they perceive the world and the work they produce. 

Learning Intentions:

  • Students understand the difference between artists working from their studio and artist residency
  • Students can explain how artists use visual conventions to represent a theme, concept, or idea in their artwork and process
  • Students understand how mood, feelings and the environment can affect and impact the work they produce.

21st-century skills:

Empathy  Problem Solving Creative Thinking Communicating Cultural Understanding

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 5 & 6 Visual Art:

  • Explore ideas and practices used by artists, including practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists, to represent different views, beliefs and opinions (ACAVAM114)

Year 7 & 8 Visual Art:

  • Analyse how artists use visual conventions in artworks (ACAVAR123

Syllabus outcomes Stage 3: VAS3.1, VAS3.2, VAS3.3, VAS3.4

Syllabus outcomes Stage 4: 4: 4.1, 4.2, 4.4, 4.5, 4.6

General capabilities: Literacy, Personal and Social Capabilities, Critical and Creative Thinking

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability 

Relevant parts of Year 5 & 6 achievement standards: 

By the end of Year 6, students explain how ideas are represented in artworks they make and view. They describe the influences of artworks and practices from different cultures, times and places on their art making.

Students use visual conventions and visual arts practices to express a personal view in their artworks. They demonstrate different techniques and processes in planning and making artworks. They describe how the display of artworks enhances meaning for an audience.

Relevant parts of Year 7 & 8 achievement standards: 

By the end of Year 8, students identify and analyse how other artists use visual conventions and viewpoints to communicate ideas and apply this knowledge in their art making. They explain how an artwork is displayed to enhance its meaning. They evaluate how they and others are influenced by artworks from different cultures, times and places.

Students plan their art making in response to exploration of techniques and processes used in their own and others’ artworks. They demonstrate use of visual conventions, techniques and processes to communicate meaning in their artworks.

Topic: Artist in residence  

This lesson is part of the wider unit of work Lord Howe Island – Artist in residence.

Time required: 120 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium- Facilitate class discussion and provide examples of how to write an open word poem. 

Resources required:

  • A device capable of presenting a video to the class
  • Portfolio or booklet dedicated to the Joshua Yeldham art lessons 
  • Student resource booklet: Joshua Yeldham Student Resource
  • Student Worksheets – one copy per student.

After each lesson, students should paste, write, draw or annotate their art portfolio.

Portfolios have several important purposes, not only do they serve as a historical checklist of a student’s accomplishments, but they allow students to unpack their creativity and make connections between the process, newly acquired knowledge and experimentation. 


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation

Before presenting each lesson, ensure that you have watched the video about Joshua Yeldham and are ready to explore art-making with an open mind and willingness to be outside in nature with your students.
However, before stepping out in nature, make sure that you are aware of any allergies your students might have and have visited each site in advance to ensure it is deemed safe and appropriate. 

Print or send the student resource booklet: Joshua Yeldham Student Resource for students to read and refer to throughout the creative journey. 

Learning intentions: Students can…

  • ...explain how artists use visual conventions to represent a theme, concept, or idea in their artwork and process.
  • ...understand how mood, feelings and the environment can affect and impact the work they produce
  • ...understand the difference between artists working from their studio and artist residency

Success criteria: Students will…

  • ...discuss how the artist uses various visual
- or - to view worksheets

Student Worksheet

Thought-starter: "When you make art you show people who you are." - Joshua Yeldham 

Techniques and the process of art

1. Watch and read about the artist Joshua Yeldham as a class and then complete the table below:


(acrylic, clay, oils, photography, digital, etc) 


(morning ritual, diligence, layered, simple, erratic, etc)


(Environment, poetry, conversation, media, politics, dreams)


(What messages is the artist trying to evoke or invoke?)

What emotions does the artwork evoke?


Open word poem 

2. Choose an artwork by Joshua Yeldham from the student resource booklet: Joshua Yeldham Student Resource and create an open word poem. 

Remember to consider how varying degrees of inflation, tone, and emphasis might affect the mood of the audience

You may like to recite the poem with a high sense of emotion and sadness or whisper as if you are telling someone a secret. 

- or - to view worksheets

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