Seven features of art

Theme

  • Art is about ideas, not just something fun or pretty to look at. Artists, like people in other fields of work, are interested in finding out and exploring information about various topics, from the environment, to abstract mathematical theories, to memory — and on and on! They might work on a theme for many years, to research and discover possibilities within a broad (or narrow) category. This is often referred to as an artist’s “body” of work.

Product

  • Artists plan and research to arrive at their product. They consider what idea they want to present behind the art.  In Making Sparks , Anderson plays with the idea, “where there is smoke there is fire”. Each object could trigger another to explode. This is a risky combination. This might also represent a metaphor for what can occur in many aspects of human life and society.

 
Subject

  • What the viewer sees.

    These are objects, such as persons, places or things.  The object is the person, place or thing in the artwork.  In Making Sparks  there is a construction which resembles a robot, made of the kind of objects found perhaps in a workshop or studio. Anderson is fascinated with the playful way that children re-use and play with found objects to imagine something else. In making this he is linking to content. Perhaps he is also making a comment about  toxic and dangerous materials that go into the creation of art. Another aspect of art the public rarely considers.

Media

  • Anderson uses clay as a medium. Do you think that  by trying to make clay look as much like something else as possible is a form of problem-solving? Anderson is a Regina-based artist and is part of a long tradition and community of ceramicists. Do you think they might have influenced and inspired each other?

Style

  • The style an artist chooses is often dictated by content, media and subject. How does that play out here? Why do you think it was important for Anderson to show accurate realism? 

Design

  • Once the artist has established the theme, content, subject and chosen the media and style, then it is time to consider the elements and principles of design.  Which elements of art and principles of design has Anderson focused on in this piece?

Function

  • This does not necessarily imply usefulness, but perhaps whether the artist  is successful in communicating to the viewer through the artwork.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning