Visual Grammar Guide

Student activities

Task no. 1

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Visual Grammar summary

  • Introduce the class to the learning intention
  • Provide background of visual grammar, for example:

Visual grammar provides a way to describe and communicate features of an image. Through examination, close looking and questioning you will build meaning. Applying visual grammar terminology will help you will notice how actions and ideas of people and objects show and express what is happening in the image. You will see how the people and objects communicate and interact and how the image affects our emotions as we connect and relate. You will learn how features of the design and layout define purpose and build meaning. Source: Library School Owl - Visual Grammar Guide

  • Unpack one visual grammar concept at a time following the example provided for the painting - North View of Sydney New South Wales, 1822, Joseph Lycett
    • It is helpful to focus on one component (representation, interaction, composition) at a time, and one concept for example vector, setting and so on.
  • Unpack the term perspectives - different points of view within an historical context, for example a British and an Aboriginal perspective on the arrival of the British in Australia
  • In regard to analysis and use of sources, explain to students that the images they will be examining are historical paintings from the State Library of NSW collection and have been digitised which allows the viewer to zoom in.