Analytical Art Speak…

When it comes to chatting about Art, people can freeze up, not really sure about what to say, while others will talk until everyone has long gone to sleep. For some studying how to use effective Visual Arts Language is a solid part of their course, for instance in VCE Studio Arts.


The key to being able to talk about anything is knowing the words to use which fit to the specific topic, in this case Visual Art.

Consider talking about a sport you may have an interest in. Over time you have developed a range of words related to the topic to give you the skills to discuss it, this may have happened purely to listening to people talk about the sport on TV, radio, reading newspapers and magazines. For many it comes easy as there are lots of ways the sport is described and analysed, It probably does not take long to get your head around the topic.

Visual Art on the other hand is often a challenging topic to discuss, for example many of us have seen the sunday afternoon arts programs which have an interviewer or critic ramble on about the complexities of some artists work, while the rest of us sit and think “HUH!”

The challenge is getting to know the words and what they mean, a bit like learning another language and for many the words used at the higher end of the arts analysis scale will certainly be that way.

How do I get started in learning this new language?

The written and spoken language we use to explore artistic endeavours helps us to appreciate the work and possibly give us an insight in to the work. Art does not have to be explored through daunting complex words, but in time you might find the complexity of the words diminishes as  you build  your proficiency.


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