Interpreting art – Part 2 – The conceptual framework

Students are introduced to the conceptual framework through analysis of practice by examining artworks and engaging in criticism.


  • 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.
  • 4.9 begins to acknowledge that art can be interpreted from different points of view.
  • 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.
  • 5.9 demonstrates how the frames provide different interpretations of art.


2 weeks.


The conceptual framework is used by students to explore the practice of artists within its holistic existence. Students will explore and investigate practice within a scenario that allows them to report their understanding of the frames.

  • Literacy
  • Information and communications technology.


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

Teaching and learning activities

Students will:

In groups of 4-5, students will

  • select a specific frame - subjective, structural, cultural or postmodern
  • research and feature the work of an artist addressing each section of the conceptual framework. Answering the questions
    • How was the artwork created?
    • Who is the Artist and what is their background?
    • Why did the Artist create this artwork?
    • What influenced the artist?
    • What is the Artwork (for example, a painting, sculpture etc)? What is the name and when was it made?
    • How does the artwork make you feel?
    • Identify the signs and symbols on the artwork.
    • Who is the intended audience?
    • What was the intentions of the artist and were they successful in portraying this to the audience?
    • Has the audience changed over time? Does the meaning change over time?
  • write and present an innovative presentation listing their findings from above
  • share with the class
  • design an interactive game to be played on a mobile phone, based on the artist and artwork of their favourite presentation. The game must journey a character through the perspectives and frames of the artwork, showing their understanding of the conceptual framework
  • paint, draw, animate or use a computer software of their choice, to design the story of their game
  • present to the class.


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 short film to about the conceptual framework and its role when analysing art.

Life skills


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

Students could:

  • with one piece of art in mind, cut out images in magazines that represent
    • the world
    • the artist
    • the artwork
    • and themselves as the audience
  • share with the teacher.
  • repeat the activity focusing on another artist.


Feedback is formative for the duration of the project.

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


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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