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About the Video Clip:

Video Clip Synopsis:
Two commercial artists work for themselves as car panel artists. They feel enormous pride and satisfaction being self- employed, even if it is not as lucrative as working for an employer.

1min 54sec

Car Panel Artists and Self-Employment is an excerpt from the film For Love or Money (16 mins), an episode of the series Working (7 x 16 mins), produced in 1979.

For Love or Money: One of a series of films about attitudes to work. Deals with the satisfaction one feels when working for yourself, doing something you really enjoy, even if the money is not as much as working for an employer. A commercial artist, script writer and mechanic discuss their attitudes to work.

Working: The series is a window into the 70s and reflects different attitudes to work, including working for money, love or passion, and working for an employer or being self-employed.

Working was produced by Film Australia.

Study Module

Curriculum Focus: The Arts
Year: 11-12
Strand: Visual arts
Theme: Artists at Work

Key Concepts

Artist; Creativity; Diversity

Curriculum Applicability Notes

ACT:Art and design: Research and thinking task (A Course); Conceptual task (C Course)
NSW:Visual arts, Stage 6: Art criticism and art history
NT:Visual arts Stage 1: Arts analysis and responses; Art in context
Visual arts Stage 2: Perceiving
Qld:Visual arts senior syllabus: Appraising
SA:Visual arts Stage 1: Arts analysis and responses; Art in context
Visual arts Stage 2: Perceiving
Tas:Art, draft and design appreciation: Criteria 2-6
Vic:Unit 1, Area of study 2: Art and society
Unit 2, Area of study 1: Exploring ideas and issues
Unit 2, Area of study 2: Art and the individual
WA:Art Year 11: Art history and criticism
Art Year 12: Art history and criticism

Context / Background Information

The commercial artist works within the popular culture genre. He or she is skilful and creative and the work is appreciated and admired by his clients. The images used are readily accessible and understood. They can found in comics, video clips, film and animation, computer games, and advertising.

The panel van was first introduced to Australia by Holden in 1953. It was designed to create a secure lock-up for the tools and equipment of tradespeople. The security offered by the enclosed but spacious van area also provides privacy. Other groups, particularly young people, began using and valuing the vehicle, as a sort of proxy caravan which could easily be parked at various locations like surfing beaches for example. Young men began to customise their vans.

The panel van has become associated with youth and sexual freedom: “If this van’s a-rockin’, don’t come knockin’.”

Discussion Pointers

  1. In the beginning of the video clip, the artist’s wife talks about the importance of his happiness or job satisfaction. Why was this important? How is this different to the comments about satisfaction the artist is expressing at the end of the clip?
  2. The artist masks out areas he is painting with an airbrush. In which jobs or trades do you think such skills are developed?
  3. The artist has a great love for what he is doing. How do we know this? What did he say which indicates the pride and level of dedication for this work?
  4. A fine artist exhibits his work in an art gallery. Discuss the ‘gallery’ for the work on the panel van.
  5. The client was young and male. Why is this significant? Compare the client and his van with a male of the bird species and see if there are any correlations. Would words like kudos, uniqueness, identity, display, and recognition be important in this discussion?
  6. Identify a range of objects which display popular culture imagery.

Suggested Classroom Activities

  1. Compare and contrast the artwork in this film clip with a painting of a suburban house by Australian artist, Howard Arkley. Consider such points as: the different use of the airbrush, the intention of the work, who the audience is and where it can be viewed.
  2. Photograph examples of images in your neighbourhood which relate to the images used in the video clip or other pop culture sources. Record the location and identify the age and interests of the audience or user group. Select four of the best examples and present them with the information in a ‘pop culture’ style.

Modules That Use This Clip

The Arts Year 9-10, The Arts Year 11-12, English Year 9-10