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Art and the Botanical (FINA20044)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeFINA20044
Availability(Quotas apply)
Summer Term
Winter Term
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This practice-based drawing subject focuses on developing skills and techniques in botanical drawing, using drawing and watercolour media. Students will be introduced to specialist botanical drawing techniques, working from both live plants and botanical specimens from the University Cultural Collections (including the University of Melbourne Herbarium (MELU) and the University of Melbourne System Garden). Lectures and writing tasks that explore the botanical in historic and contemporary visual art will complement the drawing program. By the end of the subject, students should have developed a comprehensive folio of exercises and finished works exploring the botanical in both its living and preserved states, highlighting how artistic practice can be used as a space for exploration and discovery.

Though this subject is designed for students who have little or no drawing experience, it will also suit students who have previously undertaken a visual art Breadth subject or similar.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of, and productively apply, the knowledge and skills required to effectively represent the botanical both from direct observation of living and preserved specimens, and through further studio-based experimentation;
  • demonstrate an applied effort and positive development in the skills required to effectively represent the botanical (drawings to be dated so that development can be observed in the final folio);
  • explore, articulate and critically analyse (during class, in the visual diary and in writing) the ways in which botany has been explored in both historic and contemporary art, and how artistic production can be used to examine the botanical in both living and preserved states.

Generic skills

  • Display an awareness of the graphic possibilities of a variety of concepts, materials and practices.
  • Exhibit evidence of skill development both pictorially and technically as a means of independent image making.
  • Indicate evidence of individual research in the relevant area of practice.
  • Demonstrate practical skills in respect of critical analysis, problem solving.
  • Demonstrate capacities for artistic imagination, creativity, transformation and interpretation.
  • Demonstrate an open, independent and inquiring attitude towards contemporary cultural developments and new ideas.

Last updated: 19 September 2019