About Aboriginal Art Begin this lesson by watching the 3 Aboriginal videos above. Then read the following information. Tell 2 people something you have learned from the information below.
1. Aboriginal art is based on important ancient stories: even contemporary Aboriginal art, is based on stories (Jukurrpa) and symbols centered on 'the Dreamtime' – the period in which Indigenous people believe the world was created.
2. Aboriginal art also stands as a written language: Aboriginal art is a major part of the unwritten 'encyclopedia' of being an Aboriginal person and as such it may have many layers of meaning. Australian Aboriginal people have no written language of their own, and so the important stories central to the people's culture are based on the traditional icons (symbols) and information in the artwork, which go hand in hand with recounted stories, dance or song, helping to pass on vital information and preserve their culture.
3. Paintings are also used for teaching: A painting (in effect a visual story) is often used by the aboriginal people for different purposes, and the interpretations of the iconography (symbols) in the artwork can vary according to the audience. So the story may take one form when told to children, and a very different and higher level form when speaking to initiated elders.
4. Painting on Bark is the oldest form of Aboriginal art but many bark paintings have perished over time. Not only is the bark prone to decay and disintegration, but the ochre paints too need a stable substrade (base on which to paint) to lengthen their own relatively short life.
5. Artists need permission to paint a particular story: Where ancient and important stories are concerned, and particularly those containing secret or sacred information, an artist must have permission to paint the story she or he paints. Traditional Aboriginal artists cannot paint a story that does not belong to them through family lineage.
6. Aboriginal art on canvas and board only began 40 years ago: Traditionally, the paintings we now see on canvas, were scratched or drawn on rock walls, used in body paint or on ceremonial articles and importantly, drawn in sand or dirt accompanied by the song or story. In 1971, Geoffrey Bardon a school teacher working with Aboriginal children in Papunya, noticed the Aboriginal men, while telling stories to others, were drawing symbols in the sand. He encouraged them to put these stories down on board and canvas, and their began the famous Aboriginal art movement.
7. Dots were used to hide secret information: Dot painting in the main, began when the Aboriginal people became concerned that white man would be able to see and understand their sacred and private knowledge. The dots (sometimes called 'over-dotting') were used to obscure the secret iconography (symbols) underneath. 8. Aboriginal artworks can qualify for both galleries and museums: The Australian Aboriginal is the longest surviving (so we could say 'most successful') culture the world has seen, and their culture is complex and centred on long term survival in a hostile environment. It is rich in spiritual teachings, knowledge, and cultural behaviour, as well as the practical skills and knowledge required to survive. Because Aboriginal Art reflects the earliest period of this ancient culture, it has both artistic and anthropological merit. Works painted even in recent times can qualify equally for a place in a modern art gallery or a museum. This is one of the reasons it is so special and important.
9. The highest priced Aboriginal Artworks so far were painted by Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri for the work 'Warlugulong' which sold in 2007 to the National Gallery of Australia (NGA) for a tidy sum of $2.4 million dollars. The record for an indigenous artwork painted by a woman, was achieved by Emily Kame Kngwarreye's work 'Earth's Creation' also sold in 2007 to a private buyer for $1.056 million.
10. Aboriginal art has fostered cultural revival in an extremely good way for the Indigenous people. Coming out of the dark ages of prejudice and misunderstanding on the part of the 'whitefeller', our love of Indigenous art, and our willingness to pay for it, has given Australia's Aboriginal people a greater degree of self respect and standing and an important source of income. As the older artists teach the young, it has revitalised young Indigenous people's appreciation and knowledge of their ancient culture and drawn them back to it in a way that would probably not have happened otherwise. On the other side of the coin, westerners marvel at the beauty and spirituality of Aboriginal art - their interest and respect for the Aboriginal people has transcended the old stereotypes to build stronger bridges of understanding. https://www.kateowengallery.com/page/5-Aboriginal-Art-Facts.aspx
Generating Ideas Brainstorm ideas for your project including symbols, animals, colors, patterns, etc. Write down 10 ideas that may work for your project.
Researching Country of Origin: Australia Artist/Founder: Indigenous Australian People Original Materials: Bark, Rock Walls, Sticks, Fingers, Natural Pigments
Characteristics: Aboriginal Dot paintings are one of two common painting styles found among the Aboriginal people in Australia. The other common form is called x-ray style because it depicts stylized versions of the internal bones and organs of the animal. Dot paintings tell stories or are maps to point to water, campsites, etc. They are full of symbols that can be read.
Test Pattern - Start by creating a test pattern. Below is a close up image from an Aboriginal Painting. On the square provided, paint the pattern trying to match the colors and layout. You are trying to repeat the image as close as possible. Use the tools provided to duplicate the dots. Once you have completed the test pattern, take a photo and send it to Schoology.
After researching Aboriginal Art, please create 3 or 4 quick sketches of different ideas. This is the planning stage so all ideas can be modified. You will need a background design and a focal point design (see the above image with a background and a kangaroo focal point).
Background Ideas - animal tracks, Australian symbols, pathways, circles, etc. dot patterns
Focal Points - kangaroos, platypus, lizards, snakes, dingos (animals native to Australia), boomerangs, plants native to Australia, fish, Australian symbols, etc.
Plan colors at this time. Analogous colors (colors side by side on the color wheel) work well, or you can use a color scheme generator (see links below). The design will be created using dots of different sizes, painted shapes, and painted lines. You should plan sizes as well as colors. One of these designs will become your final piece.
Final Design This is the final product. The directions are listed below. If you have a brilliant idea that reflects Aboriginal Art, but doesn't follow the criteria, see me and we can discuss if we can make it happen.
Directions 1. Have your final quick sketch plan ready to go. 2. Lightly draw the background on your paper. We are going to paint dots on the lines so don't make them too dark. 3. The dots will be made using different size items, like the handle end of paint brushes and toothpicks. The shapes and lines will be painted with a regular paint brush. 4. Paint your background first. The entire paper should be filled. 5. The focal point will be painted on a separate piece of paper. Cut out the shape of the focal point and paint the inside. The focal point should not be a rectangle or a square. 6. Once both pieces are finished, The focal point will be mounted on top of the background with a cardboard spacer in between the focal point. The background so that the focal point is raised above the background. You should not be able to see any part of the spacer when it is complete.
Refinement Go back over your work and look for areas that need improvement. This would includes things like erasing pencil lines, fixing painting mistakes, etc.
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