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skills TEST 1 B units 1–2

Name: _________________________________________ Score: ____________ / 20 points

readiNG SKILLS Colour once again beams down from the walls of
1 Read the texts and, for questions 1–6, choose the Bond Store during the annual Cossack Art
the correct answers a–d. (6 points) Awards. This year’s awards attracted 207 entries
from 120 artists from all over Australia.
Larry Mitchell’s oil painting titled Abrolhos-

A n artist who draws in the dirt on vans has lost


out in the final stages of a major illustrating
competition. Ben Long, 23, was shortlisted
Moonrise was the overall winner. Mitchell is an
extremely accomplished artist and, in this work, his
skill in handling paint is very evident. From a
alongside leading art figures after submitting distance, this painting looks like it could be a
videos of his works. Long produced his striking watercolour, in the way that the muted colours
images on the back of vans by inscribing them in blend into each other. However, up close, the
the dirt and exhaust deposits on the coach work. viewer can appreciate how the artist has created the
He was moved to start in the unusual medium after shimmering reflections using oil paint, applied with
becoming disenchanted with gallery-based projects. a freedom and confidence that only comes with
‘It came to me once I’d finished a massive conceptual years of practice.
exhibit at college, which took about five months.
Landscape paintings dominate the exhibition and
It was a success but it got me thinking about who
every artist has a different way of interpreting the
actually goes to galleries. Some people are very
landscape. Works which I particularly enjoyed
intimidated by the idea of going to art galleries, so
included Lori Pensini’s River Crossing, Christine
I thought it might be interesting to turn things
round,’ he said. Hingston’s Dirt Road, Ancient Reflections by Claudia
Having started work on vans, the submission and Kraus and Ian Dickinson’s Last Light, Mt Bruce.
exhibition of the works proved to be a hurdle. ‘They These are the paintings which, several days after
originally intended to put a van in the gallery. Not seeing them, still stay in my mind.
only were there logistical problems, I thought it was In each of these the artist is trying to convey
a contradiction of my original idea.’ Videos of Mr something unique about their subject, and has
Long at work were submitted instead ‘so I haven’t successfully found an approach and style that suits
taken a van away from its job,’ he said. what they want to express. They have created works
Organisers were impressed with Long’s work and which are very evocative. For example, Claudia
that it effectively made his art a ‘travelling show’ and Kraus has used the softness of pastel crayons very
said they looked forward to seeing how he developed effectively to create the subtle colour differences in
in the future. the rock and its reflection in the pool of water.

1 The artist uses vans because 3 From reading the text we can say that
a he couldn’t get an exhibition at a gallery. a oil paintings can’t be distinguished from
b he thought he would win an award. watercolours at a distance.
c no one had ever done so before. b Mitchell only ever uses oil paints.
d he wanted his art to be seen by people who c Mitchell has never received an award for
don’t go to art galleries. his art before.
2 Long’s artwork can be seen d Mitchell has been painting for a number of
a on vans in art galleries. years.
b wherever the vans he has drawn on happen 4 The writer praises certain paintings because
to go to. a he can’t remember the names of any
c in an exhibition which is held in a different others.
city each day. b they all use the same approach.
d on videos at Mr Long’s workplace. c he only likes landscapes.
d whilst all are landscapes, they are all
different.

54 © Pearson Education Limited 2009 PHOTOCOPIABLE


skills TEST 1 B units 1–2

The Turner Prize shortlist this year consists of four LISTENING SKILLS
nearly perfect examples of Euro-art, a term I’ve
made up to describe a certain kind of technically 1 CD Track 2 Listen to five people talking about
competent, bland, and ultimately empty art made for problems at social gatherings. For questions 1–5
no other reason than to win international awards. choose from the list a–h the problem that each
Invariably its meaning is so vague that it needs the speaker mentions. There are three extra problems.
intervention of the professional exhibition organiser to (5 points)
explain it, which is why you see two kinds of visitors at
1 Speaker 1 
a Euro-art exhibition – the ordinary punters, who
wander through these shows stupefied with boredom, 2 Speaker 2 
and groups of people paying close attention to gallery 3 Speaker 3 
guides explaining work that would otherwise be
impossible for most people to understand. 4 Speaker 4 
You don’t have to be European to make Euro-art, and 5 Speaker 5 
indeed one of its characteristics is that it can be
shown anywhere in the world without causing so a The wrong audience for my humour.
much as a ripple of controversy. For, although Euro- b I made my partner angry.
art is usually overloaded with content, it is never
c An ill-judged choice of clothes.
shocking, emotionally powerful, or visually interesting.
d A lack of knowledge of table manners.
To spend time in this show is like spending the
afternoon in the departure lounges of Heathrow, e Trying to avoid a bore.
Schiphol, Tempelhof and Charles de Gaulle airports. f The wrong topic of conversation.
Physically you’ve moved from place to place, but, at
the end of the day, you don’t know where you’ve been. g Forgetfulness.
This year, it scarcely matters who wins the Turner Prize h Too much to eat.
since another characteristic of Euro-art is that no
single artist is better or more striking or more 2 For questions 6–10 choose from the list a–h what
significant than any other. With so many wonderful each speaker may have said about their situation.
artists out there, it really was perverse of the jury to There are three extra sentences. (5 points)
nominate a bunch of artists I strongly suspect will
never be heard from again.   6 Speaker 1 
  7 Speaker 2 
5 According to the writer,   8 Speaker 3 
a the four pieces of art chosen are almost   9 Speaker 4 
perfect. 10 Speaker 5 
b the term ‘Euro-art’ was his idea.
c no one knows what the artists are trying a Next time I’ll ask what other people are going
to say with their art. to wear.
d only people who work in galleries are b I wonder if she guessed that I was avoiding
interested in Euro-art. her.
6 The writer says that c No wonder they didn’t laugh.
a he doesn’t mind who the eventual winner d Why didn’t my wife tell me about them?
of the Turner Prize is.
e I should have just listened politely and not
b Euro-art can be considered shocking in
interrupted.
certain cultures.
c there are better Euro-artists who didn’t get f This always seems to happen to me.
nominated. g I’ll have to apologise at work tomorrow.
d looking at Euro-art is similar to flying. h Who cares if I used the wrong ones?
2 Decide whether the statements are true (T)
or false (F). (4 points)
  7 The judges didn’t like Ben Long’s art works.
  8 It is obvious that Larry Mitchell is not
a new painter.
  9 The only reason Euro-art is produced is
to win awards.
10 Turner Prize nominations are made by
one person.

PHOTOCOPIABLE © Pearson Education Limited 2009 55

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