The Aboriginal Art Form – Top 8 Essential Things You Need To Know

Earth is replete with art and artistic expressions! Every art form is precious and unique in its way. What defines an art form is its ethos. One of the art forms that are popular around the globe, both as a field of study and artistic work, is aboriginal art. It is considered to be the oldest artistic expression globally.

For instance, the Northern Territory’s Arnhem Land and its art carvings are more than 60,000 years old. The artists here used rocks and soil to come up with sculptures, paintings as well as ground designs.

Today, with the digital boom the internet provides many interesting resources on art. However, this has made the concept of aboriginal art known to many. But sometimes, people aren’t aware of the correct facts relating to this art form. Not every online article gives exact details.

Hence, if you have developed an interest in aboriginal art forms, refer to the points discussed below and you will be better equipped with real facts and true ethos that governs aboriginal art.

1. Another aboriginal art can only produce Aboriginal art

Ones who know about aboriginal art will agree that it can be created by one who is of the same origin. A non-indigenous Mexican doesn’t have the permission for painting aboriginal art pieces, paintings and other kinds of artworks. The artists’ background determines the painting and the artwork.

A non-indigenous artist doesn’t belong to one single tribe, he/she has a chance to depict art from any origin. However, it doesn’t indicate that every other ethnicity gets banned from developing their hard work.

Today, interesting workshops are happening globally to teach people about aboriginal and other art forms.

2. The white Australians used dots for hiding meanings

One of the popular forms of aboriginal paintings is the one using dots. This painting came into existence when the white settlement started. These people feared that the non-indigenous people who disclose and divulge their secret knowledge. Hence, they started the double dotting painting method. It is one of the most popular styles of aboriginal art form today, especially from the Pintupi, which is a Western Australian tribe.

3. Small dots always don’t suggest aboriginal art form

Like every art form, every aboriginal art has its own philosophies and needs training and research! You need to know about several aspects before you start working on any aboriginal art piece.

Most people feel that it is all about lines and dots. That is a complete myth. There are chosen artists from chosen tribes who can understand and make use of the dot form of painting.

The artists’ place of origin and culture gets determined from the painting technique they decide to use. It is unacceptable and considered disrespectful for anyone to paint about any other culture that they are not aware of. It’s just not permitted.

For instance, the Kulin Nation that comprises of five tribes, might not be permitted to make use of the dotting process, if it’s not an intrinsic part of their culture. However, they might want to make use of the cross-hatching technique as well.

4. Every artist has a specific story to share

Most aboriginal art and paintings depict a story. The majority of the art piece gets inspired by a person’s journey. It can be about the warriors they have seen, their parents and also about other life chores, such as fishing. In certain situations, this art form reflects the tribe sentiment which could depict something painful or even glorious.

5. A considerable amount of aboriginal art form has its symbols

Ancient stories and mysterious symbols form an essential part of aboriginal art. All these symbols are focused close to the “Dreamtime.” It is one of the essential aspects of aboriginals.

They believe that the world got created during the Dreamtime. Hence, all the Dreamtime stories are 50,000 years old and have been passed from one generation to the other.

6. Artists will have to seek permission for depicting certain stories

No aboriginal artist is allowed to paint a story that doesn’t belong to their lineage. And just in case they want to paint any story that has sacred and historical data, they must seek permission before they start with the work. It is essential that every artist begin to take those stories as their inspiration, that they’ve heard about their tribe as they were growing up.

7. Aboriginal art forms get used for teaching purposes

A painting is a visual story. Hence, paintings were often used by the aboriginals for a variety of reasons. Teaching is one of the goals. The symbol interpretations of any symbol present in the artwork can differ depending on the audience as well.

Hence, a story might take on one particular form when it gets narrated to children and adopts another angle when the same gets shared with adults.

8. Symbols and colours have their meaning

Every tribe has a dedicated set of symbols that they use in their artwork. And these symbols are iconic as well that is common for a few tribes as well. These symbols comprise of digging sticks, eagle feet as well as waterholes.

Even colours have their own meaning in aboriginal art forms. For instance, orange, brown and other warm tones indicate earth and blue tones represent water. When you know the meaning of the colours and symbols you equipped better to see and understand the piece of art.

Minute details about symbols and colours matter. For instance, in certain aboriginal art form the shape “U” gets used to denote a person. It’s interesting to know how the aboriginal tribes got to this symbol. It comes from keen observation.

Try to first sit in the sand and they get up. You will find that you’ve left a U shape on the sand.

The Aboriginal art form is fascinating and helps you with intriguing symbols and principles that you need to study to depict a painting better. Today, there are many resources on aboriginal online.

You can also attend aboriginal art seminars, workshops, and sessions. All these will help you enhance your knowledge about the art form and explain someone better as well.

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Written by Ellie Grace

Hey There! I'm Ellie Grace. My passion to write brings me here. Have a look at my blogs and feel free to share your thoughts :)


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