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Sometimes we don’t understand an artwork, or a performance completely the first time we interact with it. You need to ask yourself and the artwork a few questions along the way to fully appreciate it. Don’t be discouraged if it takes a little time.

What is it about?

  • What is it called?
  • What can you see/what happened in the performance?
  • Does the artwork use symbolism? What kind of symbolism does it use? (e.g cultural,
    religious, visual, linguistic, composition)
  • Is there a specific element or elements you don’t understand? Write it down and research
    it to find out what it might mean.
  • What themes can you see in the artwork?

How is it made?

Visual Art

  • Is it realistic or stylised? Why do you think that choice was made?
  • What materials have been used? Do they add to the meaning of the work?
  • How is colour, line, shape, space and, texture used?
  • How is the artwork displayed? Is it close to other similar items? Does it have a large
    intricate frame? No frame at all? Is it displayed somewhere unusual?
  • What techniques does it use? Does it use a combination of techniques? Why are the
    techniques significant?
  • When was it made?

Performance Art

  • Is it realistic or stylised? Why do you think that choice was made?
  • What type of performance was it? (Dance, music, theatre, media, puppetry, comedy, a
    mixture?)
  • Were there any narrative/story elements to the performance? What were they?
  • How was the performance staged? Did it utilise lighting, set, props, costumes?
  • Why do you think they made those decisions?
  • Where was the performance presented? Was it in a traditional performance venue?
    Somewhere a little unusual?
  • What types of characters or performers were in the piece?
  • When was it made/written?

How do you respond to it?

  • Does it remind you of any personal stories or experiences?
  • Can you recreate it? How would you go about recreating it?
  • What are your favourite parts of it?
  • What are your least favourite parts of it?
  • Do you like it? Why/Why not?
  • Would you recommend the artwork/experience to someone else? Who would you
    recommend it to?
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