Aboriginal Art

 

 

The Australian Aborigines have the oldest continuous art tradition in the world. Before 1788 they had been painting in much the same manner for thousands of years and many continue to preserve traditional art styles and methods. Although there are some common features of Aboriginal art across Australia and it is one of the most instantly recognisable forms of art in the world, there are many different styles and methods. Some are traditional and others are adaptations that have been introduced in the last 200 years.

 

Activities

 

         Select an Aboriginal artwork and write a short story about it in the style of a Dreamtime narrative or design a book jacket for an Aboriginal story.

 

         Send a postcard as if from Uluru. Comment on the artwork you experienced there such as body painting, cave painting, ground paintings, dance and song. Say something profound about your experience.

 

         Study a style or technique used in some Aboriginal artwork such as dot painting or X-ray painting and make an artwork in a similar way.

 

         Write a short critique on a modern Aboriginal Artist such as Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Johny Warangkula Tjupurrula, etc.

 

         Illustrate a timeline showing how symbols designs and images used today can be seen in cave paintings that are many thousands of years old.

 

         Design an Aboriginal mural for a Qantas jet.

 

         Write 10 impact statements about the effect of colonisation on Australia's Aboriginal population. Discuss how producing artwork both traditional and modern has helped many Aboriginal people cope with these events.

 

 

         List five colourful compounds and their uses as pigments or dyes. Prepare a variety of substances and use these to create your own artwork.

 

         Remote Aboriginal communities face many health issues that are not generally experienced by city dwellers. Name five and suggest some possible solutions to each. Use traditional Aboriginal motifs in a poster designed to raise awareness of one of these health issues.

 

         On a map of Australia identify some Aboriginal populations and community groups such as Dharug, Bathurst Island, Pitjantjatjara, Tasmania, Redfern, Walgett, etc. Identify each place with a characteristic artwork.

 

         List three issues that are currently important to Aboriginal people today (one must be related to art). Describe how and why this issue developed. Do you see a possible resolution?

 

         Aboriginal art comes in many forms such as, textiles, body art, ground works, paintings on different materials, etc. Provide an example of each. Make a five-stage plan to promote and market Aboriginal art, modern or traditional, both here and overseas.

 

Websites

 

Aboriginal Art

http://aboriginalart.com.au/

 

Aboriginal Arts and Culture in the City

http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/barani/themes/theme10.htm