Beyond the Flesh Preliminary HSC assessment task 1b

Practices | Art history - Art criticism

This is a visual / verbal research task that asks you to investigate the various ways parts of the body have been represented and interpreted by artists throughout the course of history.

  • Weighting: 10%
  • Date Issued: Week 1 Term 1, 2018
  • Date Due: Week 10 Term 1, 2018

Responding to this case study will assess your ability to address syllabus outcomes:* P7, P8 & P10.

Refer to your Visual Arts course assessment cover sheet for further details.

Content Focus

  • Investigate the representation of the human body as a visual practice over recorded time.
  • Identify how artists / artisans inform and/or challenge the viewer through the representation of the human form. Refer to the 'frames' i.e., subjective, cultural, structural, post modern as you look at representations of the body in order to uncover meaning.
  • Gain an understanding of the manner in which issues, beliefs, events and ideologies etc. can influence the way artists represent the human form. These could be variously interpreted through the contexts of time, culture, society, place, religion, spirituality, belief, gender. power, race, history, fashion, ritual, politics, advertising etc.

The Task



  1. Choose the body part and / or feature (distinctive body part) that will be the focus of your research.
  2. Make a decision about which art movements or period of time the focus of your research will cover.
  3. Collect and place into your VAPD 10 reproductions of works that contain representations (significant or otherwise) of your chosen body part.
  4. Provide source information and citations for images
  5. Your submission should take the form of a visual / verbal presentation

In detail

  • Include reproductions from a diverse range of visual media / forms: drawing, painting, illustration, photography, digital / CGI, graphics, printmaking etc which represent your body part.
  • Your research should highlight the diversity of conceptual and material approaches taken by artists in making images and interpreting representations of the body; specifically, your chosen body part.
  • For each work, provide a brief explanation of your understanding of the concept (where evident) which the artist might have explored and a brief overview of how present day audiences may view the imagery as opposed to those who lived in the time the work was made.
  • For each selected work provide a brief annotation stating your view of the purpose and significance of the body part in the work with reference to the diverse range of influences that helped form the imagery.
  • It is anticipated your task should take in minimum of 10 pages of content in your VAPD. Your completed task should represent an informed and considered approach to art study.
  • Other submission formats are able to be negotiated.
Created By
Gary Poulton

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