Visual Art Paper 1 ,May/June 2013  
Questions: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Main
General Comments


(a) What is aesthetics?

(b) Write notes on the following features of an artwork:

(i) subject matter;
(ii) composition;
(iii) content.



This question attracted only a good number of candidates and these candidates performed poorly. Most of the candidates attempted only the aspect on aesthetics correctly. They obviously lacked an understanding of the meaning of the stated features of an artwork and this deprived them of the obtainable marks. The following are some of the responses expected from the candidates:

(a) Aesthetics - the study of the nature and value of art as it relates to beauty.

(b) (i) Subject matter - it means the image(s) that viewers can identify in an artwork.
- it is also referred to as the theme of an artwork.
- it may be a thing e.g. a tree.
- it may be a place, e.g a market place.
- it may be an event e.g. war.
- it may be a combination of living and non-living things.

(ii) Composition - it is the way in which the principles of art are used to organise art elements into a unified whole.
- the different types of composition are imaginative, representational, abstract, etc.
- the elements used in a composition are colour, texture, line, shape, form, value.
- the principles guiding a composition include balance, rhythm, variety, emphasis, proportion, movement, etc (

iii) Content - it is the message, idea or feeling expressed in an artwork.
- it may be a feeling, artist dreams and fear, political, environmental issues, etc.
- it is the meaning of an artwork, based on the subject matter in a composition.

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