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Art design - His master's voice

Pupils who opted to answer the product design question in this year's Higher art and design exam might have been thwarted by the appearance of a gramophone, said Dawn Smith, principal teacher of art and design at St Andrew's High in Kirkcaldy.

"I just looked at it and thought: `I wonder if they know what it is?' Children in this day and age probably don't even know what a record player is."

Pupils were asked to consider what might have been important issues for the designer of the product. "How many would have known there was no electricity in 1908? I just felt they needed really good historical knowledge to answer the question well."

In the art study section of the paper, some pupils might have been "thrown" by the figure composition question, featuring the sculpture Tourists by Duane Hanson, Ms Smith continued. "He does hyper-realist sculptures so they look like real people. If you did not know anything about Duane Hanson you might think it was a photograph."

The portraiture question, which featured Stephen Conroy, was a "great question", said Ms Smith. The still-life question, featuring Richard Diebenkorn, which her own pupils answered, could have been more straight- forward in part A, but improved in part B, she added.

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