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Lesson Plans

ID:UA Art and Ecology/ Criticism Questions and Aesthetic Puzzle

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Kerin Allen (
Tue, 17 Nov 1998 12:55:40 -0700

Kerin Allen
Art and Ecology Project: Criticism Questions and Aesthetics Puzzle

Overall Theme: Nature as inspiration to artists

Specific issue: Nature inspired designs that work to restore or enhance
a water dependent environment.

Selected Artist /Artwork: Lynne Hull
Desert Hydroglyphs in Utah are hand carved symbols in shapes derived
from animal tracks or parts of the animal body. The abstracted,
petroglyph-like shapes are carved out of rock in low, dry areas to
collect and hold runoff rain.

Floating Water Moon (1993): An incised crescent harbors three snakelike
writhings across a low quadrant. Three more wriggle outside the incised
curve, waiting.


Criticism Questions

Age Group: Intermediate

1) What tools might have been used to create this design?
2) Which shapes are abstractions from nature?
3) How do those shapes make this a functional design?
4) Which shapes are most important to the design?
5) How is location or placement a factor in the design?
6) How does rainwater function with this design?
7 ) How would the function be altered if it never rained?
8) How would you alter the design if you were the artist?
9) Where would you locate the design if you were the artist?
10) How can this be artwork and a functional design at the same time?

Aesthetics Puzzle

People have been greatly influenced by nature since the dawn of man.
Ancient petroglyphs and cave drawings display images of animals, plants
and land formations. Early civilizations left murals, pots, sculpture
and daily used objects depicting all aspects of nature from dolphins to
monkeys, from seashores to mountain tops. People have used elements of
nature to design useful household items like rugs, utensils, storage
boxes, quilts, canoes, even the house itself! Artists, up to current
day, have drawn, painted, sculpted, written, sung, danced, played, built
and designed using elements chosen from nature. Nature remains a
never-ending source that inspires people from all walks of life on every
part of the globe.

1) What are the natural elements that people use for inspiration?
2) How does this inspiration translate into creativity?
3) Why would nature inspire artists of all types, from all over?
4) When does nature-inspired design become a work of art?
5) How would nature-inspired art compare to art inspired from sources
other than nature?