Australian Aboriginal Artists

An Introduction to Australian Aboriginal Artists

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It’s hard to imagine a more diverse group of artists than those referred to as Australian Aboriginal artists. These are people of all ages, from teenagers through to community elders. The art is created by men and women, sometimes using different mediums within the same community. You’ll find Aboriginal artists living in remote deserts, on tropical islands, in tiny coastal communities as well as towns and cities.

Some artists are highly educated while others will have little formal education. Many are cultural authorities. They might speak multiple Aboriginal languages as well as being fluent in English.

Some Aboriginal artists focus on sacred stories that they alone are authorised to tell. Other artists create art that reflects their broader life experience. Dreamtime stories and connection to traditional country are important themes for many.

Australian Aboriginal artists work across many art mediums including multimedia. Some exhibit through Aboriginal art centres, some through private galleries, many through both. There are seventy Aboriginal art centres in Australia and these are often a community hub. Family connection plays an important role for many Aboriginal artists, and an artist might have a number of close relatives who are also artists.

A large number of Australian Aboriginal artists have international reputations for excellence. Many are noted for their exceptional level of natural talent in composition and use of colour.

There are artists who still lead a traditional life. They might hunt for food and hold the same spiritual beliefs of their ancestors. Others have Christian beliefs due to the influence of Christian missions.

There is no one Aboriginal art style, although dot art is very famous and well recognised. Aboriginal artists use extraordinarily diverse art styles and palettes. The diversity takes many people by surprise.

For many Aboriginal artists, country is a source of inspiration and a spiritual homeland. Stories are important. Family is important.

Japingka Aboriginal Art Gallery, proudly associated with the Indigenous Art Code and the Aboriginal Art Association of Australia, is excited to share with you exciting works from this wide range of artists.

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