Vol - 30 | 1 September 2020


Kia ora. Welcome to a further newsletter for 2020. Again, Covid 19 has been a dominant presence for us all. By the time you read this, Auckland will have moved out of Level 3 and about a quarter of New Zealand’s school students and teachers will have been able to return to something like ‘business as usual’ rather than remote teaching and learning.
However, we acknowledge that level 2 with its important social distancing constraints presents significant challenges, particularly in the performing arts of dance, drama, and music. I sing in a choir, where we have been mindful of the research that shows that choral-singing environments are particularly effective in spreading Covid. We have been able to meet for only half of the usual time this year, and of course performances and concerts have gone by the way.
We hope that, despite such challenges, teaching and learning in the arts continues to be rewarding and  fulfilling for you and your students – and that you keep well!
We trust that you enjoy this newsletter and continue to benefit from the sharing of expertise and experience within the Arts Online communities and mailing lists.
Ngā mihi nui
Simon Chiaroni
On behalf of the Arts Online team
Sally Waanders – Art History
Bridget Blair – Visual Arts
Patrice O’ Brien – Dance
Ryan Timoko-Benjamin – Drama
Martin Emo - Music/Sound Arts
Jane Ferguson & Simon Chiaroni – Administrators, Cognition Education

Guest Editorial

Why Art History?
Dr. Caroline Vercoe
Art History, School of Humanities, The University of Auckland

We have heard about the importance of critical thinking.  But it is visual literacy and analysis today that will become the most important skill sets we can develop.  They can’t be replaced by artificial intelligence. In fact, they give us an edge in relation to managing and understanding the visual language of culture and how it can be used to create communities and a sense of belonging, as well as weaponised to incite fear and division.  Art Historians can identify how artists have created loaded and highly symbolic works that resonate in so many different contexts – public art, the internet and meme culture, the gallery, private collections and the museum.  But its influence and impact goes much further into popular culture, music videos, political campaigning and branding.   This is because the highly symbolic and layered nature of many artworks have the capacity to break through the saturated, ‘noisy’ environment of the internet, as well as public spaces.   Recognising and being able to critically evaluate and see patterns in visual culture are crucial and relevant skills.

Art History provides a dynamic space to consider and explore how artists, their works and histories simultaneously look backwards and forwards in terms of their frames of reference.  It also challenges us to think carefully about and consider not only those present and ensconced into its stories, but also the opportunity to forge new pathways and entry points for those who have been marginalised and excluded.   A knowledge and qualification in Art History can provide a sound platform to thrive in a wide range of career options.  It offers graduates a broad and unique skillset that specialises in visual literacy, a knowledge and awareness of the past and its legacies in the present, and a sound understanding of the nuances and influences of visual culture today.

Toshi Frederiksen is a third year BA student studying Art History and Anthropology at The University of Auckland.  She is also the President of the Art History Society (AHS), a student led organisation.  Members of the AHS include current BA students and alumni, as well as teachers and secondary school students.  She is passionate about Art History and enjoys the smaller class teaching it offers.  “You have a really good support system and feel comfortable sharing ideas in class … it’s very nice to be going through a subject and feeling that you are making all these friends over three years.”
Greg Minissale teaches Art History at The University of Auckland.  “One of the most amazing things about art is how it exercises the imagination.  … it has the ability to be both idealistic and realistic -  to look at future solutions and at the world around us;  that’s really what is inspiring about contemporary art.”

Art History offers the skills to develop an edge in a world increasingly saturated by visual images and messaging.  Studying Art History is a great way to develop visual literacy, critical analysis and interpretation expertise.  There are so many ways that art and Art History informs and enriches our lives.  Like History, it offers us a way of understanding the world from a range of perspectives and experiences.  But it goes further than this in its capacity to reflect different and often divergent ways of thinking about ourselves and our place in the world.  It also offers invaluable pathways to our own self awareness and wellbeing.


Being in Level 3 or Level 2 lockdown provides challenges for teaching dance. We look forward to seeing students learning more about the creation and performance of solo dances during this time. It’s also a good time to focus on learning required for externals.

The Subject Expert Groups to redesign NCEA standards continue to be on hold, along with the overall Review of Achievement Standards (RAS).

NZQA has recently made templates available for the collection of evidence for external standards.  These templates may be useful for schools preparing students for externals or could be used in the case of derived grades being required.

Moving Dance online to deal with Covid-19.  Among the articles and links on this site is a set of solos that have been performed at Jacob’s Pillow.

From Akram Khan - Although we can't be in the theatre right now, we can bring theatre to you.
We’re so excited to announce that for a limited time, you’ll be able to watch “Until the Lions” for free! The film was captured in 2016 during our first run at Roundhouse and it brings back so many wonderful memories. Here is a link to an excerpt on You Tube.  Join us here!

Here is a resource showing 5th grade students using a Dance-Making Rubric and a Collaboration Rubric to support their creation of original choreography integrating concepts from Jose Limon technique. Included are lesson plans and videos of the children working.  This would also be useful for secondary students.

Research/Professional Readings
Best instructional Practices for Developing Student Choreographers by Kathryn Humphries and Sinead Kimbrell has lots of practical advice for teaching choreography to secondary school students.


The National Arts Education Association Alliance (NAEAA) has reached another important step in its formation. They recently held a day-long workshop with Peter O'Connor, Rawiri Hindle, Priya Gain, Murray Williams, and Pauline Cleaver, an Associate Deputy Secretary for the Ministry of Education. The day ended with the formalisation of an Alliance with a Memorandum of Understanding between the national arts associations and the election of Co-Chairs Donna Rawhakarite Tupaea-Petero - Tangata Whenua (Aotearoa New Zealand Association of Art Educators) and Emma Bishop (Drama NZ).
The Networks of Expertise partnership between MENZA and the Ministry of Education has been extended till the end of the year. It has provided vital support to music educators during the various lockdown levels.

The Subject Expert Groups continue to be on hold, along with the overall Review of Achievement Standards (RAS).  The Music Technology Unit standards are also currently under review, with the Performing Arts Technology Unit standards beginning their review.

What do you mean by inclusion in Music Education?
Dr Victoria Armstrong shares insights into her academic research across music technology, gender and related inclusion issues, exemplified by two case studies within primary and secondary education practices.
'I found the roots of electronic music in a cupboard!': the tale of India's lost techno pioneers
In the 1960s, a group of Indian students accidentally invented minimal techno – and hoped their synths could cure disease. A new documentary unearths their story. Listen to the full 45mins here.

The MENZA events page has been updated on their website. This is a great place to get up to date notification on professional development, concerts and online events.

The MENZA website continues to be updated with a large number of resources. Many are free to access, whilst others are behind the membership paywall.

Additions to the TRE
A summary of the exam questions for Level 3 AS91423 from 2016-2018 has been uploaded.

Research/Professional Readings
The special interest group “Decolonising and Indigenising Music Education” has been active in sharing resources, research and other publications via their facebook group, which sits under the umbrella of the International Society for Music Education.


Visual Arts

Creatives in Schools
The application deadline for Creatives In Schools funding has been extended due to the current changes in Alert Levels for Auckland and the rest of New Zealand. The closing date has been changed from the 21 August to 11.59pm Sunday, 20 September 2020.

This funding provides a great opportunity for uniting a local creative and school to support students’ learning and experiences in the Arts.

Applications for Round 2, of up to 110 projects, are open for implementing at any time during Terms 1 to 4 in 2021.

Verification requirements for Levels 1 and 2 of Visual Arts have been removed for the 2020 academic year in response to the reduction in instruction time due to Covid 19. Schools will assess external examination folios for these two levels and provide the grades to NZQA. Level 3 examination processes remain the same, but with some changes in dates.

Reminder of dates of external exams
Visual Arts Level 1 and 2: Provisional results must be entered on the NZQA website by 9th November. Schools can then amend these to final grades up to the 27th of November.

Visual Arts - Level 3 and Scholarship: Thursday, 12th November, 9.30am
Current exhibitions
Covered in the Art History section of this newsletter
Currently the Arts face trying times with the cancellation or modification of many events affected globally by the current pandemic. UNESCO responded earlier this year with ResiliArt - a call to arms for artists to join together globally. A range of online debates have taken place, beginning with this inaugural event on International Art Day, 15th April 2020.
Ai Weiwei has also reflected on How a pandemic transforms the familiar into the unfamiliar in an article for the Atlantic.
As French artist JR states in this video about his Time 100 issues cover “You gotta stay the utopist. The artist always stays the utopist. Why? Because there’s enough people being the pessimist around.”
In a hopeful vein, we offer this clip ‘A message from New Zealand”, from 100% New Zealand.
There has been contention around the funding that has been provided to Communities of Learning over the past few years. Some of this has provided a good deal of expertise and focus across a number of education providers, as intended, while others have not delivered the results expected, given the funding provided. This is highlighted in a recent article: Call to axe $100 million dollar communities of Learning Scheme.
New Zealand artist Heather Straka discusses her work in this video conversation with art dealer Johnathan Smart about her recent exhibition.
The generous contribution of Aotearoa Art Educators alongside international Visual Arts colleagues has seen a shared cache of resources distributed via Google Drive to support many in need during remote teaching time. Some of these resources may be published in future on the Arts Online site.

Research/professional readings
Art History

Art History PD and Scholarship
Art History Teacher PD Day:
This day will be held on Friday, September 11th at the Epsom campus, University of Auckland. Costings and the content (specific topics and speakers) will be finalised soon. This is always a really inspiring day, so put this date in your diaries and get your PD application into your school.
Scholarship day for students and teachers:
This will be held on a Saturday, early in Term 4 -TBC at Auckland University. This is another valuable day for students to work together and plan responses and extend , as well as a great opportunity for teachers to liaise with each other and examine different approaches to this exam.

Digital Mock exams
These exams are practice exams for use by teachers to familiarise students with the digital format that is used with the external AS exams at the end of the year. They use digital exams from previous years for Levels 1, 2 and 3, and found at

Also available are assessment gathering templates for both internal and external AS, which have been developed in response to the truncated academic year created by Covid 19.

Reminder of dates of external exams:
Level 1: Monday, 30th November, 9.30am
Level 2: Wednesday 18th November, 9.30am
Level 3: Wednesday, 9th December, 9.30am
Current exhibitions

Auckland City Art Gallery
Civilisation - Photography Now - until 18 October
A look at our built environments and our hyper-connected, 21st-century lives through the eyes of skilful photographers
Gordon H Brown and Colin McCahon - until 3 September
Brown engaged McCahon’s attention by commenting on an obvious interest in Cubism in a painting that lent against a sofa in the living room. Thus began a close, lifelong friendship.
Te Papa Wellington:
Lemi Ponifasio - MAU House of Night and Day - until October 4
A new ritual performance based on Lagimoana, which Ponifasio created for the 56th International Venice Art Biennale, 2015, curated by the late Okwui Enwezor.
Tatau - Samoan Tattooing and Photography - until 8 November
Pain, Identity, Innovation. Experience Samoan tattooing through the lenses of four photographers – across time, in Samoa.
Christchurch City Art Gallery
Gathering Clouds - until 6 September
Starting with John Gibb’s Shades of Evening, the Estuary – the first painting acquired by the Canterbury Society of Arts in 1881 – we trace the formation of the Gallery’s collection of landscape painting.
Louise Henderson - From Life - until 11 October
A French woman who found freedom to be herself in Ōtautahi/Christchurch, Henderson became a pioneer of abstraction who remained intensely engaged with the world around her.

Dunedin Public Art Gallery
Paul Cullen - Building Structures - until 16 August
Building Structures + + features a selection of works from different phases of Cullen’s forty-year career, drawn from the artist’s estate and shown together in Ōtepoti/Dunedin for the first time.
John Reynolds - The Falls - until 27 September
Contemporary artist John Reynolds seemingly attempts a reworking of the Colin McCahon Waterfall theme & variations (1966) mural housed at the University of Otago’s main library.
Fiona Pardington - Ngā Ringa Toi o Tahu
For several decades Dr Fiona Pardington has been a prominent figure in the contemporary art world, both nationally here in Aotearoa and internationally. An extraordinary talent, she has received numerous accolades for her hauntingly beautiful photographic works.
A New Study Suggests the Real Cause of Renaissance Master Raphael’s Death Was a Disease Similar to the Coronavirus
Raphael’s reputation for having a wild sex life has long fed myths that the Renaissance artist died of syphilis in 1520 at age 37. But 400 years after his death, medical researchers have finally put that tall tale to rest.

France Will Rebuild Notre Dame’s Spire as It Was, Scrapping Plans to Top the Fire-Ravaged Cathedral With a Contemporary Design
President Emmanuel Macron has abandoned the idea of holding an international competition to design a new spire.

No More Tokens: Sculptor Anish Kapoor Calls on Museums to Stop Pigeon-holing Non-Western Artists
The London-based sculptor writes a call to arms for artists to reject being tokenised by museums that refuse to engage fully with their work.



What is Modernism? A Guide to Art, Literature and Design
Along with new trends in culture and society, political agendas, technological advances in industrialism, and scientific discoveries during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, new methods of thinking and creating emerged. Modernism, which influenced art, design, literature, and philosophy, led to an immense cultural transformation.

The Climate Change Clues in Art History
Art historians are exploring their collections through a climate lens, revealing overlooked connections between our past and present, writes Diego Arguedas Ortiz.

Level 2

‘The Death of Marat’ Defined the French Revolution. Here Are 3 Things You Might Not Know About Jacques Louis David’s Masterpiece
In remembrance of Bastille Day, we take a closer look at David's tribute to slain revolutionary Jean-Paul Marat.

Manet’s ‘Bar at the Folies Bergere’ was an early example of product placement
Unsurprisingly, the influence of the new consumer society on art was perhaps most apparent in Paris, then the undisputed cultural capital of the world.

Level 3

Giotto’s ‘Lamentation over the dead Christ’ – a drama in heaven and on earth
The "Lamentation over the dead Christ" is one of the scenes from the life of Christ painted along the walls of the Scrovengi Chapel.

This Edward Hopper Painting Has Been Called One of the ‘ultimate images of summer.’ Here Are 3 Things You Might Not Know About It
A closer look at Edward Hopper's iconic painting 'Morning Sun’.

How Cindy Sherman Redefined The Roles of Muse and Maker
Susanna Wenniger, Artnet Auctions' Head of Photography, shares her insights into Cindy Sherman's practice.

Research/professional readings

Discovery of oldest Māori photo opens new chapter for New Zealand history
Descendants of Māori Chief Pomare Ngatata from Rēkohu say the recent discovery of the oldest known portrait of a Māori has opened up a new chapter into their whakapapa and the wider history of Aotearoa.

German artist Mia Florentine Weiss on Why Art is still the Barometer of Culture
The German conceptual and performance artist Mia Florentine Weiss hopes that this time of international pause leads people to reflect on our humanity, our environment, and our legacy for this planet.

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