Critical and historical interpretations

In critical and historical studies students will investigate how various artist have used Adobe Photoshop to create interesting and postmodern interpretations.


  • 5.7 applies their understanding of aspects of practice to critically and historically interpret photographic and digital works.
  • 5.8 uses their understanding of the function of and relationships between the artist - artwork - world - audience in critical and historical interpretations of photographic and digital works.
  • 5.9 uses the frames to make different interpretations of photographic and digital works.
  • 5.10 constructs different critical and historical accounts of photographic and digital works,


1 week.

Driving question

  • How can a photographic artist develop their ideas?
  • How is a photographic artist influenced by the world around them?
  • How does a photographic artist use post modern ideas in their artmaking?



  • Students will learn about the practice of photographic artists through the exploration of their material and conceptual concerns

Conceptual framework

  • Students will learn about the relationship between the artist, artwork, world and audience. They will explore the art agencies relating to practicing photographers, audiences and the world


  • Students will learn about how traditional conventions are challenged to create works that reflect current technologies and ideas
  • Students will explore Australian photographers that represent political views that are current to contemporary Australian society.
  • Information and communication technology
  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Literacy
  • Aboriginal
  • Gender.


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

Teaching and learning activities

Students will:

Students are to complete a digital or hard copy essay with links to the photographic artist's images. This can be completed through one-note or a word document.



Teachers are encouraged to provide students with acceleration activities if required.

Students could:

Life skills


  • LS 1 experiences a variety of artmaking activities.
  • LS 2 explores a variety of materials, techniques and processes.
  • LS 9 uses a range of materials, techniques and processes to make artworks.

Students will:

  • research a range of photographic images from the internet about the artist Fiona MacDonald.


Formative assessment can be used to determine learning progress throughout the lesson sequences. Teachers should informally assess a student's level of understanding and adapt accordingly. Summative assessment can be used at the end of the lesson sequences. Students could hand in their essay for marking.

This sequence and accompanying worksheets are available as word documents below.


Please note:

Syllabus outcomes and content descriptors from Photographic and Digital Media 7–10 Syllabus (2004) © 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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