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Australian Aboriginal Dot Paintings

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Title: Australian Aboriginal Dot Paintings


1
Australian Aboriginal Dot Paintings
2
History
3
Who Are the Aborigines?
  • A group of native Australian people
  • Similar to Native Americans of the US, Aborigines
    inhabited the continent of Australia thousands of
    years before the arrival of European settlers.

4
  • Similar to the Native Americans of the US,
    Aborigines lived by hunting, moving across land
    in harmony with nature.
  • Materials they used were simple, natural, and
    functional

5
  • In 1770, Australia was claimed by the British.
    When other European settlers arrived, the
    Aborigines suffered a fate similar to that of
    Native Americans. Some were killed others died
    of disease, and the rest were herded into
    reservations.

6
Art
7
  • Aboriginal Art
  • Each piece of Aboriginal Art has a story,
    meaning, or function.
  • The process of creation is more important than
    the result
  • Many designs were reproduced as part of special
    ceremonies

8
Materials and Techniques
  • Most Aboriginal Artists worked on surfaces found
    in nature, such as bark, sand, rocks, and the
    human body
  • They used simple, rough mediums and techniques

9
Dreamtime
10
What Is Dreamtime?
  • Aborigines believe that everything in todays
    world was created by Ancestral Beings long ago,
    during a period they call Dreamtime
  • These beings moved across the earth creating
    land, people, animals, and the heavens

11
  • The Ancestral Beings then sank back into the
    earth and their spirits turned into landscape
    features now regarded as sacred places
  • Today, the spirit of these beings, known as the
    Dreaming, live on.
  • Aborigines renew their connections through art
    and ritual

12
Dreamtime and Art
13
  • A Western Artist is said to have created a work
    of art but when an Aboriginal creates a design,
    it is said to have been found, often in a dream
    or through an unusual experience

14
  • Artworks are created to communicate stories,
    messages, or spiritual qualities, and therefore
    most imagery is abstracted (stylized and reduced
    to their most basic lines and shapes)

15
  • Generally, animals, birds, fish, birds, and
    plants are usually shown in profile (from the
    side), while turtles, frogs, and reptiles are
    shown from the top

16
Patterns
  • Characteristic patterns include
  • simple organic (curved) lines
  • positive and
  • negative spaces
  • straight lines
  • Angles
  • jagged edges

17
  • Patterns were often first created during sacred
    ceremonies, the repetition of circles, coils,
    curves, dots, and colors served to transport the
    viewer into a mystical state of mind. This
    produced a heightened awareness and made it
    easier to feel a connection with Dreamtime

18
Point of View
  • Many rituals required these patterns to be drawn
    in the sand first so that artists could become
    used to seeing their images from above. They
    would then begin painting with canvases on the
    ground.
  • In Western art, objects or landscapes are
    usually seen from the side in aboriginal
    painting, objects are seen from above

19
Art as Language
  • Artworks were meant to serve as maps to diagram
    relationships between people and the land.
  • They record sacred journeys and contain unique
    vocabulary of signs, symbols, lines, and shapes
    that can be read the way we might read a subway
    map.

20
Past and Present
  • Generations of Aboriginal artists living in the
    great central desert region of Australia have
    been creating art for thousands of years, but
    their images have long since disappeared
  • Today, artists painting on modern canvases and
    boards are preserving and adapting these same
    unique patterns that were developed many
    centuries ago
  • Traditional dot painters used natural pigments
    such as ochre, and crushed seeds. Today, bright
    colors are more common

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