Aboriginal art is both timeless and contemporary since it reveals the rich heritage dating back 40,000 years as well as contemporary and innovative approaches. The birth of the contemporary movement, that have emerged back in 1971 when a group of elderly desert men started using paper and canvas in their practice, has empowered Aboriginal communities all over Australia and has contributed greatly to the contemporary Australian art. A long tradition of passing on songs, rituals, dances, symbols and meaningful patterns has translated into the contemporary practice. Rich with visual symbols and steeped in the long history of storytelling, Aboriginal contemporary paintings reflect spiritual and cultural practices, the stories of their creation embodied in the ‘Dreamtime’ that shape their identity and a strong connection to the Australian landscape. Certain traditional stories are a part of different Aboriginal communities, and artists usually need permission to paint them.
The landscape of contemporary Aboriginal painting is so diverse, due to the variety of Aboriginal communities and their stories as well as the influences from abroad. Produced in various mediums including paper, canvas, fiber, glass or printmaking, the works are rooted in the traditional iconography, and yet amazingly modern in design and color. Whether they are following traditional guidelines or developing a unique contemporary style influenced by Western practices, the work of these ten artists made a great contribution to their communities and an impact on the Australian contemporary art in general.
Editors’ Tip: Aboriginal Art (World of Art) by Wally Caruana
This book is an important introduction to the diversity of Aboriginal art and a comprehensive study that of the work of Australia’s indigenous artists from all parts of the continent. A culture so rich and 50,000 old, Aboriginals have created works steeped in the tradition and produced in a variety of contexts, from the sacred and secret realm of ceremony to more public spheres, and in media that include painting, sculpture, engraving, constructions, weaving, photography, printmaking, and textile design. Mapping the latest developments across each of Australia’s geographical regions, this updated version of the book brings some twenty new illustrations highlight the impact of urban living, the growth of local art centers, and the rise of women artists―all testifying to Aboriginal art’s continued dynamism and vitality.
Ben Williams – Contemporary Aboriginal Artist
Ben Williams is a young, emerging, Warlpiri and Warlmanpa artist from the Northern Territory in Australia.
Watch Ben’s story to learn about his journey so far as a contemporary Aboriginal artist, combining realism techniques learnt from his father, with traditional Aboriginal techniques passed down from his mother.
At Ochre Dawn we love to collaborate with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists from around the country, providing opportunities for sustainable income and community development.
We welcome a conversation with you about your next project and how we may share your stories in unique and visually captivating ways.
Please contact us for further information: email@example.com
Or visit our website: www.ochredawn.com