*All the below relates to the DP visual arts course for first examinations 2016.

Here are some thoughts about the kinds of artwork that can be submitted for your final exhibition.

Designing it vs making it

If you design a beautiful dress, including the pattern on the fabric, but get someone else to make the dress, the dress can’t be submitted for your final exhibition. The guide says that any work selected for final assessment must have been made or constructed by you (the student). For example, if a piece of clothing was designed as part of your study of fashion, or a piece of jewellery, it cannot be presented if you didn’t create it yourself.

You can still submit the design of the piece but the final “realized” piece cannot be included.

But what about a 3D artwork created using a 3D printer?

I teach in a building that contains both visual arts and design technology/information technology rooms.

This makes it easy for students involved in any or all of these subject areas to ‘cross-fertilize’, going from one room to the other to see and explore how ideas might be shared and/or translated from one form into another. Digital art and Photoshop are obvious information technology routes to take as an alternative (or in addition) to more traditional 2D media and techniques.
repetitionIn design technology and 3D, we have used a clay face-mask (created in the art room) as the starting point for a series of plastic masks produced using vacuum-forming machine in the design technology room. Once the clay mask is made it’s relatively simple to make 10 or more plastic replicas (see example).

We also have laser cutter and a 3D printer, both with huge potential to add to students’ creative and practical art-making toolkit. Just come up with your design and let technology do the rest – hey ho, more or less instant art at the push of a button. Magic!

BUT – if you are a student taking the DP visual arts course (and if you are reading this I’m going to assume that you are) it’s not just a question of manufacturing a number of artworks ready for your big exhibition.

The guide says that any work selected for final assessment must have been made or constructed by the student.

(Of course, senior visual arts examiners are well aware of this issue and are already having relevant discussions, anticipating seeing in 2016 artworks that have been designed by the student but made in effect by technology. If it is decided that further guidance is appropriate it will be provided and your teacher will be able to clarify any questions).

Found Objects

(the term “found object” comes from the French objet trouvé)

As the name implies, found objects are essentially objects that you find rather than make – Picasso and Duchamp are known for using found objects about a hundred years ago – Duchamp exhibited his ‘readymade’ Fountain in 1917 and more recently Tracey Emin exhibited “My Bed” (1998).

For the visual arts course you can still construct artwork made from, or including, ‘found’ objects: if you take found objects and create a new artwork with them, “the resulting artwork would be considered as a piece constructed by the student”.


If you want to use additional elements to create an atmosphere or a specific experience for an audience, e.g.  music or sound effects, they must be copyright free with appropriate citations provided, or have been created by the student.

Either way any audio component will not be assessed in this visual course.

Happy New Year!