Do you sometimes recognise a painting style or colour palette and think of a particular Aboriginal community?
These styles and colour palettes have developed through a fascinating decision making process. Aboriginal art communities often work together in groups, and decisions about how elements are represented are often made after considerable debate. Colour choice is also often arrived at through a group decision making process.
There might be one or two strong individuals who will be keen to innovate. They will argue their case and often lead the group into new ways of representing story elements. They might also persuade the group to expand the colour palette that can be used by the group.
Some communities agree to paint within a traditional colour range, some choose a limited palette combining traditional colours with a couple of others. There are other groups who have permitted their members to paint from a broad palette. The availability of full colour charts has given groups more choice and many senior artists have embraced that choice.
We've just published an article about how Aboriginal art communities approach these issues. You can read more here: How Group Styles And Colours Develop