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Art Terms

Fancy picture

Fancy picture refers to a type of eighteenth century painting that depict scenes of everyday life but with elements of imagination, invention or storytelling

Black Atlantic

Black Atlantic describes the fusion of black cultures with other cultures from around the Atlantic

Mail art

Mail art is a movement based on the principle of sending small scale works through the postal service


An early form of abstract art characterised by interacting linear forms derived from rays of light

Underground art

First used in relation to the cultural phenomenon of the 1960s and early 1970s where groups of artists, writers and other creatives and thinkers were regarded as existing outside or on the fringes of popular culture


Décollage is a French word meaning literally to unstick, generally associated with a process used by artists of the nouveau réalisme (new realism) movement that involved making art from posters ripped from walls


Pastel is a coloured drawing medium made from pure coloured pigment mixed with a binder to form a stick

Participatory art

Participatory art is a term that describes a form of art that directly engages the audience in the creative process so that they become participants in the event

Live art

The term live art refers to performances or events undertaken or staged by an artist or a group of artists as a work of art, usually innovative and exploratory in nature

Identity politics

Identity politics is the term used to describe an anti-authoritarian political and cultural movement that gained prominence in the USA and Europe in the mid-1980s, asking questions about identity, repression, inequality and injustice and often focusing on the experience of marginalised groups


Georgian is the term applied to the style of architecture, art and design prevalent through the reigns of the four King Georges in Britain from 1714 to 1830


Loosely defined, an art collective is a group of artists working together to achieve a common objective

The uncanny

A concept in art associated with psychologist Sigmund Freud which describes a strange and anxious feeling sometimes created by familiar objects in unfamilar contexts


The term pan-Africanism refers to an ideology of racial solidarity with Africa and its diaspora formed in the mid-nineteenth century

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