Art in Arnhemland

Different Australian Aboriginal Art

Arnhemland, being the top north of Australia where many aboriginal artists have been painting for generations, handing down the stories of the Ancestors.

Many stories hold the secrets of cultural law, which in times gone by, these traditional laws combined with the stories were how aboriginal people in Arnhemland raised their children and children did not break the cultural laws.

With an introduction of other laws, availability of modern transport, TV and many other modern influences, children have avoided learning cultural law, through ceremonies and thus parents no longer have as much control over their children.

This is not unlike European Society where the old rules have been tossed away, and in many cases discipline has gone with it.

In both cases the largest loss is respect for elders and the Laws or rules that we live by.

Cross hatch – painting done with an inner piece of grass, using natural ochre’s & glue, after dipping the brush, laying it down on the surface, this making a line. 

X-ray- this for of painting shows the complete skeleton and intestine of the subject being painted.

Art today only carries a fraction of those old stories that were even allowed to be shown to outsiders.

The young people now paint in Art Centers where many artists amalgamate ideas.

When I was a young women, artists lived in their own groups and you could tell who painted a painting just by looking at it, as they were so distinctive.

Today we have a combination of X-ray & cross hatch in many instances.