Guidelines for creative work exegesis

ACIS letterhead 2017

Jo-Anne Duggan Prize

Guidelines for Creative Work and Exegesis entries

 Creative work

A creative work represents any independent, imaginative and unique creative product that may stem from a range of disciplines or a multi-disciplinary framework within the fine arts and visual communications. Creative works may reflect a particular interpretation or argument through their aesthetic quality, or exhibit pure visual effects, or both. Examples of creative works therefore can include: a painting, drawing or sketch; a sculpture; a short story; a poem; any kind of photomedia; a short film; a creative performance. The creative work for submission in the Jo-Anne Duggan Prize may also incorporate more than one artistic genre.


The exegesis is an essay of c.2000-3000 words, which supports the creative work. It should describe the purpose of the creative work and locate it within its historical and/or cultural contexts. It should identify the theories and the artistic practice that you have used in creating the work.

The following points should be taken into account when you prepare it:

  • Introduction: introduce the creative work and the conceptual framework which supports an understanding of it; outline where the work sits within its wider artistic, cultural and/or historical contexts, as well as what theoretical and practice-led works have informed the process and end product; also identify the purpose of the creative work, which may focus on your interpretive intentions or the work’s actual function; outline the points that will unfold in the discussion of the exegesis.
  • Body: developing a discussion over several paragraphs, the body of your essay should address the following points, ensuring internal consistency between paragraphs: the historical and/or cultural contexts; the contemporary theories and practice that underpin the creative work; the process engaged with for the production of the work; the significance – your interpretation and/or the function – of the work. Further relevant points may of course be discussed.
  • Conclusion: sum up the discussion points and the overall purpose of the creative work, including any theoretical or philosophical points, if relevant.
  • Bibliography: a full list of the works you have cited.