Artmaking – Part 1 – Introduction to public art

Students investigate contemporary cultural art practices through the topic of public art.

Students will examine the stakeholders of Australian public exhibition spaces and the relationship between the artist and the world during the artmaking process.


  • 4.7 explores aspects of practice in critical and historical interpretations of art.
  • 4.8 explores the function of and relationships between the artist - artwork - world - audience.
  • 5.7 applies their understanding of aspects of practice to critical and historical interpretations of art.
  • 5.8 uses their understanding of the function of and relationships between artist - artwork - world - audience in critical and historical interpretations of art.


2 weeks.

Driving question

How can we develop public art in NSW that reflects the concerns of our citizens?


Students will explore art practices through a current public art sculptural prize in their local community.

  • Work, employment and enterprise
  • Civics and citizenship
  • Information and communication technology.


All activities require students to demonstrate their learning and are all assessment for learning activities.

Teaching and learning activities

Students are to use their art journals to investigate and answer the driving question through a series of activities.

Suggested student learning activities include:

  • explore the Biennale of Sydney either through an online or face to face excursion
  • using examples from the Biennale of Sydney website, write a definition of contemporary installation
  • research, write and define a list of jobs, roles and responsibilities they would need to complete to run a sculpture prize event successfully.
  • design a local sculture prize event. Students can:
    • develop a fake social media page for the identity of someone working for their event. This can be done in photoshop or a website such as Fakebook
    • create an avatar for their character
    • list the avatar's personal interests and professional qualities needed for the event manager's position
    • create a job description and advertisement listing the roles and responsibilities required of the person responsible for the running of the exhibition.
  • investigate and explore the different careers, and previous participants at the Biennale of Sydney website.

Conceptual practice is the ideas behind artmaking. It involves the process an artist uses when developing their art to communicate their intention and meaning to the audience. Those with influence in the process include practicing artists, stakeholders/patrons, curators and media frontiers who participate in formulating the conceptual strength and meaning with the artists.

Students will:

  • debate the intentions behind the artmaking of a public artwork studied in class. Debate topics could include:
    • real world problems inform artmaking
    • artmaking can affect real world problems
    • artmaking is avant-garde to real world problems and reflects shifts in changing perspectives.

Written responses are documented and shared within collaborative discussion facilitated by the teacher.

Multimedia blog

Students are to:

  • document the process of their artmaking within a journal. This can be their visual arts process diary, or an online blog through sites such as Google classroom.
  • photograph or sketch the process used
  • write a response to the process used following literacy structures, language forms and features, as seen in the DoE text type support document.



Students could:

  • create a public art exhibition proposal for their local council or community. Students will need to consider the environmental, social or political concerns that are relevant to the contemporary audience by brainstorming and researching local interests.
  • map out the proposed location, define the theme and create an advertisement to promote the idea.

Life skills


  • LS 3 explores the function of a variety of artists and audiences.

Students could:

  • look at a brochure for an exhibition (these can be found online, for example the Biennale of Sydney provides educational resources in pdf format. After reading, study the artists and their artworks and put them into categories. For example, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, women, men, religious groups, etc...


Feedback is formative for the duration of the project.


Please note:

Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from Visual Arts 7–10 Syllabus (2003) © NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales, 2017.

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