Aboriginal Art History

A lot of people are now inclined to know more about the aboriginal art history. It is no doubt one of the oldest arts known to man. Australian aboriginal art contributes to a greater understanding of Australian indigenous people’s way of life. Each piece carries a story from its creator, conveying them to others and preserving them for the generations to come.

Aboriginal art history and various forms of art

People in the earlier times painted, engraved, carved and drew in various surfaces such as rock, sand, wood and even their own body. It is said that doing so is their way to communicate with other people and with nature. Aborigines use organic materials in making traditional art. One of the important materials they use is ochre.

Here are some of the common art forms used by the aborigines:

Rock painting. Rock paintings are said to be one of the oldest form of arts dating back 30,000 – 40,000 years ago. It was in 1891 when Joseph Bradshaw discovered the first known rock paintings in the caves of Kimberly, Western Australia. These rock paintings were called “Gwion Gwion” and were created by Australian aboriginals in the area. Gwion Gwion is now more known as “Bradshaw”, named after its discoverer.

Rock engraving. Apart from rock painting, aboriginals also do rock engravings to express themselves. Since the type of rock varies, different techniques in engraving were also used. Famous engravings are seen in Muruja (Western Australia), Sydney (New South Wales), and Panaramitee (Central Australia).

Stone arrangement. Stone arrangement is also another form aboriginal art. In Aboriginal art history this is where small stones are arranged and embedded in the ground to form images. Stone arrangements can be seen in various places in Australia. Finest ones are said to be in Victoria while other types can be found in Yirrkala.

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