Mrs Rosalind Dorfling
In speaking of civilisation, the late Lord Clarke, eminent art historian, said that a nation’s art production was its most reliable reference in assessing its achievement and development while others have testified to art being society’s ‘safest civiliser’.
The student who seeks perhaps a more practical benefit in studying art, one not only as an exercise in aesthetics or the philosophy of taste, but also as a vehicle of visual communication, would do well to consider taking this subject.
Through the study of art, one gains understanding in visual interpretation and this in turn provides the student with a valuable, early grounding in the planning and creation of image-making.
In today’s competitive world, early experience is essential in planning one’s future and careers in the visual arts as well as in design is many and varied. If one considers that every man-made thing in the world is designed by someone, then it’s quite possible that the visual arts offer more job-opportunities than any other category of work, from spectacle-cases to aeroplane wings.
Design centres are many and numerous, a few of the more familiar fields include:
• Television (costume settings – lighting, etc)
• Printing, and many more
The curriculum combines the traditional, the contemporaneous and the cultural.
Visual Arts can be taken as a subject, for one year, in Grade 9.
In this year, students are encouraged in their drawing skills. The study of the History of Art, which make up the other half of the years’ activities, are planned in such a way so as to be of use to those of whom who elect to continue with the subject through to matric.
The three-year Senior Visual Arts course begins with Grade 10. In this year, students explore various drawing and painting media, in keeping with the requirements of the practical component of the official syllabus.
The History of Art component compares the architecture, sculpture, painting and drawing of various cultures, at various stages in their development.
To the Grades 11 and 12 continuation of the syllabus, is added, a series of illustrated discussions centered on international cultural activity, in its growth in sophistication.
It should be borne in mind by interested students that the syllabus is a comprehensive one and involves considerable effort in completing the requirements of the official syllabus. A genuine interest in art is therefore very much a prerequisite to succeed in this subject.