Modernising Traditional Indigenous Art In Australia

Essay by syc_runawayHigh School, 11th gradeA-, March 2007

download word file, 6 pages 5.0

Indigenous Australian artists have been painting for thousands of years. These artists have been greatly influenced by their traditional beliefs brought upon them by their tribal ancestors. Indigenous art has evolved from traditional to contemporary styles through the use of evolving, techniques and materials. Fortunately enough the traditional form of Aboriginal art is still used, so that their heritage is kept alive. One artist which still uses traditional forms of Indigenous art is Billy Stockman Japaltjarri. Another artist whom has moved on from traditional forms to the modern contemporary style is Richard Bell.

Various techniques are used in traditional art forms to help tell a story. These include elements and principles of design such as: colouring, shading, lines, patterns, space and iconography. Traditional forms of art use very limited and dull colours. These colours are often natural colours of the earth or colours of their national flag. There is very little to almost no tonal shading used for traditional forms of art.

This leaves the final piece to be basically 2-dimensional. Most traditional pieces of artwork use a lot of line work. Most of these lines are very clean cut lines and not grungy. Patterns play a large role in most traditional artworks. This is usually mixed in with line work to give a greater meaning or emphasis. In traditional artworks, spacing helps tell the story to show whether there are many of events happening at the time or none at all. The artworks utilize space in different ways, but the artists are not concerned with the formal balance of space the artwork. Lastly iconography is the most important aspect of any traditional art form. Iconography in traditional pieces uses very simple shapes and lines, so the end product is very basic and simple.

Billy Stockman Japaltjarri is a traditional...