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Representing the Artist

This section introduces students to the idea of representation and how a person may be represented in different ways through selection of detail, of form and medium and through the nature of texts.

Students address the Australian Curriculum content as they:

  • investigate the representation of ideas, attitudes and voices in texts by
    • analysing the ways language features, text structures and stylistic choices shape points of view and influence audiences
  • create a range of texts by:
    • using imaginative, interpretive and persuasive elements for different purposes, contexts and audiences
    • selecting and applying appropriate textual evidence to support arguments
    • using strategies for planning, drafting, editing and proofreading
  • reflect on their own and others’ texts by:
    • evaluating the effectiveness of texts in representing ideas, attitudes and voices
    • explaining how and why texts position readers and viewers.

The concept of representation is a critical understanding for senior students as representation is what gives meaning to the things in the world. The words and images that stand for phenomena and experiences, that re-present the information and ideas we are trying to convey, are our access to understanding what is happening. In fact one could say that an event has no meaning until it is represented. But that is not to say that there is no existence or material reality outside of our representation of it but that it is we who ascribe meaning to it in our experience or perception of it.

The meanings we ascribe are shaped by situation, experience, culture and by language itself. These form the context in which each of us interprets signs and images. So experience is a very subjective thing and communication of an experience involves two complex subjectivities, the creator of the text and its responder.

The creator of the text and the responder enter into a relationship through the text, are influenced by it and affect its meaning for each.

The film, PAUL KELLY — STORIES OF ME, is a representation of the artist and his artistic processes and in this resource students will be examining how this representation was constructed.

You may also want to refer to the National Portrait Gallery exhibition PAUL KELLY & THE PORTRAITS.

Context of creator / World of the text / Context of Responder