External exemplars Level 3 2020 – Printmaking

Show: External Exemplars

The resources below contain examples of candidate work submitted in 2020 for assessment for the Visual Arts Achievement Standard 91458 Produce a systematic body of work that integrates conventions and regenerates ideas within printmaking practice. The purpose of this resource is to assist art teachers prepare their teaching programmes and their students for assessment.


Panel 1 (JPG, 670KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 611KB) Panel 3 (JPG, 486KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.7MB)
Click links to see larger images

A personal and authentic proposition is clearly established on Panel 1 through confident and refined drawing exploring a wide range of options and possibilities, creating touching imagery. Ideas relating to ageing and inherited identity are explored through metaphor. Ambiguous works make the viewer question whether they are trees, roots, or veins of the brain. Compositions are investigated through viewpoint, proximity, the play of positive and negative space, testing and juxtaposing family imagery, and trying options with different media and techniques. A successful communication of mood and atmosphere is created through the use of woodcut, a powerful expressive medium employed to establish the emotional message, as well as through symbolic elements, such as the dandelion seeds blowing away in the middle of Panel 3.

The candidate tests many combinations of subject matter through sophisticated explorations combining pictorial devices such as scale, shape, blocks of tone, limited colour, line, pattern, and staining, always informed and building on previous works. Sequences on each panel set up possibilities dealing with spatial relationships that could head in multiple directions. The candidate successfully navigates and tests through small series and shows more resolved ideas in larger prints. Successful ideas are analysed and prioritised, showing evidence of deep thinking, critical reflection, and informed decision-making.

The choice and placement of colour and tone is deliberately selected, carefully considered, and used to extend pictorial options, such as the staining in the teacup work. Mark-making is used for its expressive qualities and to describe tonal shifts. Some areas of plates are pristine and wiped clean, while other areas are thoughtfully left with subtle plate tone. Velvety black ink has been used with control and sensitivity to create contrast, and dynamic, graphic images. Printmaking methods have consistently been used with fluency and flair, exploiting their characteristics and potential.

The submission results from thorough research, combining ideas from a variety of artistic and stylistic references. The candidate has been able to investigate picture-making approaches informed by the meaningful synthesis of ideas from established practice. Works have been critically sized and ordered.

The works on Panel 3 continue to evolve and expand on new possibilities within a formal investigation, through analysis and intelligently reevaluating. Successfully reforming ideas explored earlier demonstrates the richness and breadth of the proposition.


Panel 1 (JPG, 595KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 577KB) Panel 3 (JPG, 654KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.7MB)
Click links to see larger images

Established on the first panel, individual works explore symbolic imagery relating to memento mori, through presenting subject matter such as clocks, telephones, teeth, lamps, architectural spaces, and figures. The juxtaposition of abstract patterns against the symbolic forms, and the use of a limited colour palette, establishes a depth of ideas. Considered investigations into figure / field and positive / negative relationships are explored.

There is an informed interest in surface, texture, repetition, and the use of ghost print to create pattern. This is explored through proficient use of printmaking, including cyanotypes, woodcuts, and a range of monoprint techniques. Overprinting is handled with sensitivity and there is evidence of skill in the subtle way techniques are combined.

A strength of this submission is the conceptual and explorative nature of the inquiry and a willingness to be inventive, take risks, and build on successes. Although there are areas where compositions with single forms are repetitive, and at times there is a reliance on collage, the candidate makes the most of ideas and their potential, through analysis and regeneration of ideas, juggling humour with symbols. Woodcuts show fine cutting and sensitive inking on the last panel and the final work successfully sets up a dichotomy with the urn and new life. This submission is purposeful in the progression of the investigation, both pictorially and conceptually, building complexity by combining imagery.


Panel 1 (JPG, 511KB) Panel 2 (JPG, 491KB) Panel 3 (JPG, 706KB)
Entire portfolio (JPG, 1.6MB)
Click links to see larger images

The candidate successfully presents a range of ideas through the use of printmaking as drawing to integrate conventions and set up thematic concerns associated with bird forms. A range of techniques, including intaglio, woodcut, and monoprint, are well integrated, and composition is explored through layering, shape, colour, scale, line, texture, framing, and selectively wiped, subtle tonal shifts. There is understanding of positive and negative space. Picture-making becomes more complex as ideas are regenerated.

Earlier works are revisited and built upon to help extend the visual journey. The layout demonstrates the developmental process in a way that identifies pictorial shifts and shows the candidate’s thinking and decision-making from representational birds towards abstracted space, and silhouetted, symbolic birds.

Printmaking conventions are appropriate to the candidate’s purpose and are used with understanding throughout the submission. The candidate demonstrates knowledge of the characteristics and constraints of processes for their textural or graphic qualities. A strength of this submission is the way new techniques are introduced to promote different ways to explore ideas.

The subtle tonal shifts within the limited palette, black-and-white works, and use of opaque and transparent ink shows understanding and sensitivity.

This candidate meets the requirements for Achievement in the New Zealand Arts Curriculum at Level 8. To achieve a higher grade, the candidate needed to capitalise on strengths by consistently integrating the inventive use of media with explorations changing viewpoint, scale, and placement. Exploiting the more adventurous options and arrangement of elements, such as the use of framing devices in the Panel 2 series, and exploring the strength in the monochromatic palette with expressive mark-making and wiping of the plate to create movement, would have enabled further compositional refinement.

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