Australian Aboriginal Art

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Australian Aboriginal Art

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Who are the Aborigines? Aborigine means “native” Original people of Australia Traveled in canoes from SE Asia Lived there at least 40,000 years as the only people Developed unique beliefs about creation Survived as hunters and observers Many died from disease or starved when their land was taken from them by the Europeans in the 1770s

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What is Aboriginal Art? Last traditional art form to be appreciated To understand Aboriginal Art we first need to learn about Dreamtime Dreamtime refers to their beliefs of how the land and its people were created Believed supernatural beings with magical powers created the land’s features, animals and plants during dreamtime Art is a way to stay in touch with their ancestry and be a part of the natural world

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Passed down through generations by word of mouth Artworks depict deep meaning told through dreamtime stories Basis of value and belief system, affects their interaction with the land and animals Land is sacred because it contains their heritage, history, and powerful ancestors or spirits Dreamtime Stories

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In Aboriginal culture everyone is an artist because everyone participates in activities such as dancing, singing, body decoration, sand drawing and weaving baskets.

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Unique subject matter and style Known for their rock paintings, bark paintings, sand (or dot paintings), and body decoration Brushes made from bark, plant fibers, twigs, hair or feathers Also used fingers or sticks to paint Used natural ochers (minerals) or clay to make red, yellow, and white paint Black was made from charcoal How did Aboriginals create art?

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Aboriginal Rock Art Longest continuously practiced artistic tradition in the world. Ubirr, located in North Australia, has very impressive rock paintings.

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"One old man in Arnhem Land remembered being carried as a child on his father's shoulders as his father climbed up a log leaning against a rock wall. His father then sprayed his hand with red ochre against the rock, leaving a stencil he could still recognize many years later. The main function of the stencils was to record people's presence and association with a site."

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How are these two paintings similar? How are they different?

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Bark Painting Tradition for thousands of years Bark is cut into a rectangle, after the wet season, when it’s soft Placed on warm coals, pressed flat with weights and sticks tied to both ends with string Painted with natural pigments mixed with a natural fixative: sticky gum from trees Style is similar to rock paintings and illustrates stories Painted on bark for ceremonies, burials, and everyday objects such as baskets and belts

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Traditional dot paintings were made in sand Contemporary dot paintings are on canvas with acrylic paint Depict a story using Aboriginal symbols When you understand the symbols it gives a whole new meaning to a dot painting Dot Painting

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Aboriginals used symbols to represent natural surroundings. They are shown as tracks left in the ground and look like they are seen from a plane. Represent recent tracks left by animals or tracks made in the past by ancestors. Thunder & Lightening

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Kangaroo tracks & tail Goanna (lizard) dragging tail, footprints on side Emu Frogs (black) Water holes (blue) Footprints Snakes Men Hunting Women’s Ceremony

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Objectives: Learn how dreamtime beliefs and the Australian landscape inspired the creation of Aboriginal artwork. Create interesting patterns through the use of line, symbols and colour. Paying attention to size and placement. Create Hand Print that showcase Aborigine Art. Discuss the purpose of art in Aboriginal culture.