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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: 9-10
Strand: Visual arts
Theme: Artists at Work

Key Concepts

Artist; Creativity; Diversity

Curriculum Applicability Notes

ACT:Visual arts strand: Arts, criticism and aesthetics; Past and present contexts
NSW:Visual arts strand: Stage 5 — Critical study; Historical study
NT:Visual arts strand: Art responses and analysis VA5.3, VA5+.3; VA5.4, VA5+.4
Qld:Visual arts strand VA6.3
SA:Arts analysis and response: Standard 5 — 5.4
Arts in context: Standard 5 — 5.5, 5.6
Tas:Art, craft and design Stage 4: Criteria 1-8
Vic:Visual arts strand: Responding to the arts — criticisms, aesthetics and contexts, 6.3, 6.4
WA:Visual arts strand: Arts responses; Arts in society

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 customising 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? 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. Collect images from a range of popular culture sources. Select and cut out those which tell some simple story like – I am a mighty or brave and fearless warrior, or, I am king of the jungle. Arrange the images to create a mock-up of the design for a van.
  2. Compile a folio of various styles of lettering from popular culture sources. Explore words or simple phrases which relate to the style of lettering and develop a text-based design for a t-shirt.

Modules That Use This Clip

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