To Dream, to Collect

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Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art is now considered one of the most vibrant artistic movements of contemporary art. It is refined and perplexed, a melting pot of paradoxes: prehistoric and ultra-contemporary, abstract and precise, simple and sophisticated. It is a palette of lush colors. Pointillism accentuated by braided lines, concentric shapes, color harmony, give the works a vibrant and intense effect and an undeniably aesthetic dimension.

Utopia is the birthplace and ancestral home of some of Australia’s most pre-eminent Aboriginal artists (there are approximately 200 artists working in the region today). Women artists dominate this community as they maintain their traditional ceremonial ways paying homage in their art work to their role as food gatherers. Aboriginal culture in the form of art has been produced for thousands of years for private purposes, to tell creation stories called “Dreamings”, to maintain the law and customs and to maintain the knowledge for survival and attachment to their land.

 

 

The phenomenon that is called ‘Contemporary Aboriginal Art’ is a continuation of a long artistic tradition that has been adapted for use as public art. The materials may have changed but the stories and designs are traditional. Unlike the art in adjoining regions, the stories from Utopia are not represented in an iconic or figurative sense but more in a spatial and three dimensional senses. At times “the whole story” is produced and at other times the artists may focus on just one element.

Aboriginal art is based on story- telling, using symbols as an alternate method of writing down stories of cultural importance, as well as transmitting knowledge on matters of survival and land management. Aboriginal artists inherit rights to paint certain cultural stories. Artists need authority and permission to paint traditional stories, and this authority is vested in the custodians of the knowledge of these stories. It is very hard to get aboriginal artworks since the communities are nomad and they travel during the year to find food.

Discover the artworks of Contemporary Aboriginal Art that Kooness has select for you directly from Australia thanks to Ninbella Gallery HERE.

 

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