Art is an integral aspect of indigenous Australians’ life and comes in various forms, shapes, and sizes. Historically, it was designed only for cultural reasons and was inaccessible to those with limited understanding. Their artwork has only just been made available for public inspection. Indigenous artworks continue to be influenced by traditional signs and symbols from dreamtime and the artist’s homeland and play a crucial part in the lives of indigenous people regardless of their traditional private functions.
Find an Art Style That Appeals to You
There is a lot of indigenous art for sale. Therefore the first step is to select which types you prefer. Follow your instincts and choose the one that spiritually and personally calls to you.
Indigenous art styles:
- Bark paintings. Most of what is believed to be the oldest type of Aboriginal art comes from Northern Australia.
- Historiography paintings. These are works of art that depict modern themes and events, frequently in brilliant acrylic colours. Tourists dislike them because they may be aggressive and violent.
- Wood sculptures and carvings. Notable art pieces include Lin Onus’ Fruit Bats sculpture and the Tiwi people’s Pukamani burial poles. The Tiwi inhabit the Bathurst and Melville Islands off the coast of northern Australia.
- Canvas, linen, or panel paintings. This painting style is far more current than you may believe. Aboriginal artists began creating dot paintings as part of the Papunya Tula art movement, which emerged in the early 1970s. Acrylic paint, which dries rapidly and is very simple to work with, is used by artists to create a broad spectrum of hues.
- Urban art. Frequently, urban Aboriginal art is very political, passionate, and controversial. It typically discusses the modern concerns of Native Australians.
Find a Reputable Art Gallery
Here are a few places to begin your search for a gallery:
- If you wish to buy (or just view) Aboriginal art, you may search for it on the Indigenous Art Code website, which promotes ethical commerce in Aboriginal art.
- The Aboriginal Art Association of Australia maintains a list of its “trade members,” most of which are galleries. You may search by state.
- The Australian Art Gallery is a private enterprise that allows you to locate galleries by region, artist, or name.
- The website for the Aboriginal Art Directory features commercial galleries.
- ArtArk collaborates with Aboriginal non-profit organisations. Their art is verified and consigned for sale.
Check with peak body organisations that represent tens of thousands of ethically conducted enterprises in Australia that offer indigenous art for sale.
Do not hesitate to pose queries! Check to see whether you are purchasing from a vendor who treats their artists with respect. Ensure that the artwork you’ve selected is sourced from artists fairly and that the artists are treated appropriately. Ethical requirements apply whether you purchase through a gallery, a dealer, or directly from the artist. Ensure that the artist is compensated fairly for their effort and that you are not purchasing the artwork for an unfairly low price.
Check If the Artwork Is Authentic
Each piece of Aboriginal art should have some of the following details:
- Authenticity certification.
- Official art gallery or art centre designation.
- A sticker indicates authenticity and the manufacturing location.
- Name of the artist’s language group or tribe.
- Title of the work’s date or year of its creation.
- Some cultural knowledge.
- The community centre where the artwork was created.
- Artist’s statement.
- The work’s narrative.
Ask the gallery what percentage of the purchase price is returned to the artist. Greater percentages are preferable. The vendor must issue a certificate of provenance bearing the art centre’s logo, information on the artwork and its creator, the artwork’s catalogue number, and a tax invoice receipt.
Indigenous visual arts are important for maintaining and passing on cultural traditions because they provide a platform for self-expression and communication. They help indigenous women, and youth feel better about themselves. Indigenous arts and crafts provide benefits beyond the monetary and quantitative, helping conserve Indigenous culture and bringing awareness of Australia’s rich cultural heritage to audiences worldwide.