Transcript: Writing an artist statement fill in the blanks activity

Read or listen to Afra’s draft below. Hayden has placed numbers directly before a word or section which he thinks could be improved. What do you think could be improved about each numbered section?

The pipes indicate which words or phrases need to be replaced.


Afra’s Artist Statement

Warm Reception is an | 1. iconic |, larger-than-life sculptural installation of two hands reaching out to grasp each other. They were constructed over several weeks using recycled wood, cardboard, cloth, and a | 2. very groundbreaking | papier-mâché technique.

Arriving in Australia as a refugee in 2015 was initially an intimidating experience. I wondered whether I would ever find my place and be accepted there. | 3. The inspiration for this piece comes from a moment in my first, tumultuous week in Salty Creek, when a community elder grasped my hand between hers and spoke to me, and I struggled to understand her words, but I could feel the warmth of them through her touch, and it gave me a sense of comfort and from that moment on, Salty Creek has become a home which has | | 4. embraced | me and my family and enveloped us into the community.

| 5. This piece has been created by | me because I wanted to show how I feel about the community that embraced me. | 6. Hands which hold each other with palm to palm | are universally understood | 7. by people everywhere | to represent assistance, comfort, friendship, and connection. | 8. I arrived in Salty Creek eight years ago and the community offered me these things. |

I hope this installation will become the | 9. cynosure | of the festival, a place for the people of Salty Creek to meet their family and friends, interact with the installation, take photos, and feel the warmth of the community.


Hayden’s feedback

Now that you know which areas of the draft Hayden thinks need to be improved, and match his feedback sentences below (letters) with the part of the text which needs improving (numbers). The first one has been done for you.

a.  Passive voice is unnecessary here – it will sound more natural if you start this sentence with ‘I’ (the subject pronoun). Feedback number: 5

b. This sentence is too long – try breaking it up into three shorter sentences to make the paragraph clearer.

c. This word is not commonly used in English, and I’m not sure many festivalgoers will know it – is there another word you could use?

d. Isn’t this an exaggeration?  Try to avoid using hyperbole in your artist statement.

e. This adjective is overused in artist statements and can sound a bit cliché – your sentence doesn’t need this word.

f. You have used this word twice in the artist statement – maybe you could change it to ‘welcomed’

g. You can rephrase this into two words to help keep your sentence concise.

h. These words are not necessary – the adverb you used has the same meaning, so you are repeating ideas.

i. You have already given this information in the second paragraph, so you can remove this sentence.


Activity answers:

a – 5

b – 3

c – 9

d – 2

e – 1

f – 4

g – 6

h – 7

i – 8


Transcript: Writing an artist statement fill in the blanks activity Copyright © 2022 by RMIT University. All Rights Reserved.

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