Sunday 18 August 2019

Artwork or artefact? Teacher queries use of word in museum question

All smiles: Aisling Callanan, Siobhan Creaven, Nicole Murray and Lauren Dolphin and a friend sat the Leaving Cert art paper at St Raphael’s College, Loughrea, Co Galway. Photo: Hany Marzouk
All smiles: Aisling Callanan, Siobhan Creaven, Nicole Murray and Lauren Dolphin and a friend sat the Leaving Cert art paper at St Raphael’s College, Loughrea, Co Galway. Photo: Hany Marzouk
Katherine Donnelly

Katherine Donnelly

ART students are well used to artefacts but teacher Gerard Lane thought the way the word was used in the Leaving Cert art history and appreciation higher-level paper was "a bit odd".

It came up in the art gallery and museum question, which Mr Lane, an Association of Secondary Teachers' Ireland subject representative, said was always the most popular. With reference to an exhibition in an art gallery, museum or interpretative centre they had visited, students were asked to describe and discuss two artefacts.

Mr Lane, who teaches at Presentation College, Athenry, Co Galway, said the word may have thrown some students. "It is not that they wouldn't have known what an artefact was, but some students would apply the word artefact to an object such as a sword," he said.

"When they were asked about a gallery, it needed to be more specific and the examiners should have asked for a painting or a sculpture."

While the gallery question might have thrown a few candidates, Mr Lane said, overall the paper was good.

Questions on the paper covered a spectrum that included the Ardagh Chalice, Romanesque architecture, the Renaissance, Georgian architecture, Cubism and Robert Ballagh.

And it was bang up to date with another where candidates were asked to reflect on artworks in public spaces with reference to the new Luke Kelly sculpture by artist Vera Klute, in Dublin's north inner city.

Mr Lane described it as "a nice question" and welcomed another about animated movies transporting the viewer into another reality and one on the use of photographic manipulation in graphic design.

He said the ordinary level paper was "pretty standard stuff with nothing I could quibble with".

Irish Independent

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