AHT3109 - Constructing art in Australia: Colonialism to postcolonialism - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Art, Design and Architecture

Organisational Unit

Department of Fine Art

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Julie Cotter


Dr Julie Cotter

Not offered in 2019


Two second-year level AHT or TAD units


AHT2109, TAD2109, TAD3119


This unit was formerly coded TAD3109


A 'survey' of visual arts in Australia from colonisation to contemporary contexts. Historical and social perspectives in the development of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography and film, architecture and design. Representation and subjectivity, cultural identity, nationalism and nationhood, ethnicity and gender. Issues of mainstream and marginality; notions of the 'centre' and regionalism, Australia's relationship to Europe and European art generally, and the notion of landscape as a shaper of national identity.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Recognise the range of visual practices that have operated within Australian culture from both an historical and contemporary perspective;
  2. Understand the significance and ideological uses of Australian visual practices in constructing notions of national identity;
  3. Have a post-colonial perspective in contextualizing the historical and social developments of Australian visual culture;
  4. Critically discuss the cultural practices of Australian artists and designers, in historical, artistic, ideological and socio-political contexts, and theorise the basis for the marginalisation of certain individuals and groups;
  5. Be aware of the problematical nature of Australian artistic practices especially in terms of the local artist/designer's position within both regional and international contexts.


Short essay (40%)

Long essay (55%)

Reader discussion (5%)

Workload requirements

12 hours per week including a 2-hour lecture, 1-hour tutorial and 9 hours of independent study.

See also Unit timetable information