I've been a huge fan of Australian Aboriginal art for a long time, appreciating the colors and designs of Aboriginal "dot paintings". Now that I'm in Australia, I've been able to enjoy Aboriginal art up-close, learning about and admiring the many different forms that Aboriginal art can take, beyond just paintings on canvas (which is a very modern, Westernized form of Aboriginal art). In this blog post, I'll show you some of the different Aboriginal art forms that I've seen here in Victoria.
I'll start with a painting that is considered one of the most important rock art paintings in Victoria:
This is a painting of Bunjil
, who according to Aboriginal legend (called "dreaming"), created everything from the land to the tribes and cultures, and provided for everyone's needs. He's shown here with 2 dingoes. This shelter is located in the 'bush' about 90 minutes or so outside of Melbourne. Here's a close-up:
The artwork below was photographed at the National Gallery in Melbourne. Below you can see several Aboriginal hollowed log coffins, similar to the ones that are used to house the bones of the deceased, which is part of the burial rituals amongst the indigenous Australians in the Arnhem Land. The ones that are on display in museums were usually not involved in actual burial rituals. (You can learn more about this burial ritual on the National Gallery website, about halfway down the page on this link: http://nga.gov.au/AboriginalMemorial/home.cfm
The photo below shows a close-up of one of the log coffins, so you can see the intricate detail, with a canvas painting hanging on the wall behind it.
Here are some contemporary Aboriginal dot paintings. The ones on the right are more similar to the 'traditional' dot paintings because they use more earthy colors, whereas the ones on the left use more vibrant, contemporary colors:
Here's a pic of my husband looking at a large Aboriginal dot painting on canvas, which gives a sense of the scale of this work:
This is a close-up side-view of that painting, to give you more of a sense of the intricate detail:
You can see more pics of the Aboriginal art we saw, along with more descriptions and background info, on this blog post that I wrote last year
after our initial visit. In that post I wrote a bit more about how these paintings are made and what they mean.