Appreciating Australian Indigenous Fine Art

Australian indigenous art is steeped in a proud and wonderful history. Each magnificent painting depicts a story or ‘dreaming’ inspired by a rich tapestry of cultures and customs — dating back to hundreds of centuries before the white man even thought about ‘discovering’ this great land.

As a race of people, the aborigines’ affinity with the earth and respect for its elements leaves a lot for us ‘more educated’ to ponder. They truly epitomise the expression ‘We only inherit the environment from our grandchildren’.

Unlike most traditional forms of western art where the artist is usually just painting or drawing a replicated image [real or abstract] of something, someone or somewhere, each indigenous painting possesses a far deeper meaning than the surface paint indicates. Traditional Dreamings take on a spiritual dimension and are passed down from generation to generation, interpreted by the artist and then translated onto the canvas in their own individual style.

The enthusiastic passion that the aboriginal artists apply to their work is obvious and highly infectious. The diverse techniques, depending on the location and ancestry, ranging from the bold powerful splashes of layered colours to the most intricately detailed forms of dot painting, can only be admired and appreciated.