The Aboriginal Art and Culture section is a collection of articles, audios and videos relating to Australian Aboriginal people and their art. Here you will find stories on Aboriginal dreamings, interviews with Aboriginal artists and information on the different Aboriginal art regions. Please click on a category below to view the full archive.
Aboriginal Art & Paintings
Australian Aboriginal art and Aboriginal paintings represent one of the most vital art forms in Australia today. The contemporary Aboriginal paintings using acrylic on canvas are the latest adaptation of an artistic tradition that can be traced uninterrupted and continuous for over forty thousand years, making it the oldest living art movement in existence.
Central Art represents over two hundred Australian Aboriginal artists from across the Central and Western desert regions. It is important for Aboriginal artists and their families to live on their homelands so they stay connected with the Dreamtime stories, song lines and dance cycles associated with their country.
Necklace making is a traditional part of Aboriginal culture and each stage plays an integral part from seed collection to wearing necklaces during ceremonies. Necklaces are worn by both men and women during ceremonies relating to sexuality and fecundity.
Aboriginal culture in the form of art has been produced for thousands of years for private purposes: to tell creation stories (Dreamings), to maintain the law and customs and to maintain the knowledge for survival and attachment to their land. The phenomenon that is called 'contemporary Aboriginal art' is a continuation of a long artistic tradition but it had been adapted for use as public art. The materials may have changed but the stories and designs are traditional.
The Dreamtime (or Dreaming) is a term used to describe the period before living memory when Spirits emerged from beneath the earth and from the sky to create the land forms and all living things. The Dreamtime stories set down the laws for social and moral order and establish the cultural patterns and customs.
Many of the symbols used by Aboriginal artists are a variation of lines or dots. Similar symbols can have multiple meanings according to the art region and the elaborate combination of these can tell complex Dreamtime stories.