Aboriginal Art: The finest Aboriginal art for sale
every part of the country. Each has its own language and complex belief system that explains the universe and the place of people within it.
Because there are so many distinctive Aboriginal cultures there is also a great diversity of artistic styles and media, from the well-known dot paintings of the Western Desert to the Western Kimberley’s ghost-like Wandjina creation ancestors with huge mouthless faces.
Traditional Aboriginal art practitioners do not see themselves as artists but as storytellers. Since there are no written languages, the making of artworks is all about sharing a spiritual association with a specific landscape or ‘country’, as well as communicating obligations to this ‘country’ through Dreaming stories and Songlines. The Dreamtime describes the time of creation when enormous mythic creatures roamed the Earth creating landforms and deciding which people could live in each special place.
The stories are told via many different media. Traditionally, there was rock art, sand and body paintings as well as ochre bark paintings, wood carvings and fibre weaving, the latter portable art still available today.
Contemporary Aboriginal art using Western acrylics on canvas began as recently as 1971 in the remote township of Papunya, west of Alice Springs, when a teacher named Geoffrey Bardon gave some acrylics to men in the community to paint a mural on the school wall. This was how the Western Desert Art movement began.
Since then dozens of art centres have developed in tiny communities from Fitzroy Crossing in the Kimberley to Maningreda and Ngukkur in Arnhem Land. Each has art advisers who bring in canvases and paints and get the artworks to major urban markets.
Sarrita King and Tarisse King, “Languages Of The Earth & My Country”, 2016, acrylic on linen, 76 x 105cm, from Aboriginal Art Galleries.