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Australian Aboriginal Dot Art Essay - 5855 Words

Australian Aboriginal Dot Art

ABORIGINAL ART
THE DOT MYTH

Jabit
June 2012
Contents
ABORIGINAL ART – THE DOT MYTH 3
Explain how the above has evolved and where dot art has come from 3
Aboriginal Art: Traditional to Contemporary 4
Research 5
When 5
Where 5
Who 6
Why the modern aboriginal “dot art” movement started? 6
Geoffrey Bardon 6
The Honey Ant Mural, July 1971 7
Pintupi people from the Western Desert 7
Diversity within “dot art” - showing two different artists works. 8
Uta Uta Tjangala - Traditional Artist 8
Uta Uta Tjangala Paintings 10
Tjungkaya Napaltjarri known as Linda Syddick - Traditional Artist or Contemporary 12
Linda Syddick’s Paintings 13
Different indigenous art styles throughout Australia and examples 14
Dot Painting 14
X-ray Style 14
Rock Art 15
Bark Paintings 16
Explore the difference between: art for tourist, art for galleries, art for traditional reasons 17
References 19

ABORIGINAL ART – THE DOT MYTH

Aboriginal art has been overshadowed by the idea that it is primarily presented in dots. It has got to the point where people believe that certain Aboriginal people own the dot and artists both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal are hesitant to use consecutive dots within artwork. Explain how the above has evolved and where dot art has come from

Dot paintings today are recognised globally as unique and integral to Australian Aboriginal art. On the surface the dot is simply a style of Aboriginal painting, like the use of cross-hatching or stencil art. Exploring deeper into the history of the Aboriginal dot painting a world of camouflage, secrecy and ritual is discovered. The term ‘dot painting’ stems from what the Western eye sees when faced with contemporary Aboriginal acrylic paintings. This painting style arose from the Papunya art movement in the 1970s. Papunya Tula artists used a process which originally mirrored traditional spiritual ceremonies. In such rituals the soil would be cleared and smoothed over as a canvas (much like the dark, earthy boards used by the Papunya Tala) for the inscription of sacred designs, replicating movements of ancestral beings upon earth. These Dreaming designs were outlined with dancing circles and often surrounded with a mass of dots. Afterward the imprinted earth would be smoothed over, painted bodies rubbed away, masking the sacred-secrets which had taken place. This ritual was shifted from ground to canvas by the Papunya Tula who eventually added an array of naturally produced colours to the restricted palette of red, yellow, black and white produced from ochre, charcoal and pipe clay. Such pieces reveal a map of circles, spirals, lines, dashes and dots, the traditional visual language of the Western Desert Aboriginal People. However these marks were permanent and due to arising interest made public, creating internal political uproar. Consequently representations of sacred objects were forbidden or concealed through the dotting technique. Now that the collecting of pieces of Aboriginal art has become so popular world-wide, a common, mistaken belief is that the Dot Painting Style of Central Australia is a recent development. This belief arises because it was in the 1960s that a Central Australian school teacher encouraged the old men of the tribe to record their art on European sheets of board, using acrylic paints. This use of acrylic paints on flat board dates from that time. However, the art style itself, with geometric designs, is seen in the petroglyphs (rock engravings) dating back thousands of years.

Ancient petroglyphs showing concentric circles (non-naturalistic art style), inland South Australia The use of dots was once Australia-wide, particularly seen on body decoration when people are painted for ceremonies, and paintings in the remote Kimberley region where dots are clearly seen on the body decoration of some of the earliest human figures, likely to be older than 20,000 years. (See accompanying photo.)

Dot decoration on the.

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Australian Art - Tourism Australia

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Learn more about Australian art, from ancient Aboriginal artwork to Australian sculpture and contemporary Australian photography.

Get an overview of our artistic history, famous Australian artists and major art prizes.

Delve into our cities and their cultural attractions, including big Australian art galleries such as the Art Gallery of NSW and the Gallery of Modern Art Brisbane. We'll tell you where to find the biggest contemporary art gallery in Sydney and that must-see Melbourne art gallery.

Find out where you can experience Australia's living Aboriginal art history. Learn about the ancient indigenous artwork of Kakadu, the Kimberley and the Flinders Ranges. Read about Canberra's enormous collection of Aboriginal artwork or about Darwin's art precincts, which feature more than one up-and-coming Aboriginal artist.

From the artists of Australia to aboriginal art in Australia, we have the art of Australia covered.

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Art Theories and Influence on Artists Essay

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through in their life.� On art historians and critics he says �Other people come along and interpret the painting with their own life experiences� The subjectivity involved in a critic or art historian�s views are extremely high.

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an intellectual idea with a poetic edge, then the idea goes searching for different totems to portray itself upon.� Storrier elaborates further that �The bottom line of my paintings is that they are trying to come up with totemic images about Australia. We don�t have many, for me the true totemic image of Australia is the horizon.� A totem is a natural object that is usually the emblem of a clan in a tribal group. Storrier�s totems are a natural

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horizon being the totemic image of Australia stems from his love of the horizon, even as a child �I was always gazing at what lay beyond the horizon. The beauty of distance.� This shows that Storrier is working from the subjective frame as well as the cultural frame. An important quote from Storrier is this: �My burning rope pictures, the series called Point to Point, are totemic images of a journey from one point to another in the landscape of

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life, but they are really about the horizons beyond the burning rope.� This quote shows us that Storrier�s personal theories on the totemic image of Australia being the horizon is incorporated into his artworks. We can see from this that the personal theories of art influence the practice of artists.

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with pain and anger, painted a totem for his traumatic state� He thought of a totem and gave the totem an idea with a poetic edge to show his feelings and traumatised state. The painting was called �The Burn�. The totem in the painting that reflected his raging view and traumatised state was a carcase of meant with a burning rope following the contour of the spine as a symbol of a flayed body. The ribs are showing, the penis

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is blood red, the testicles droop. This shows further evidence of Storrier working in the subjective frame. It is interesting to note how storrier communicates his feelings so effectively. A humans ribs, spine and testicles are the most painful part of a body to hurt, and Storrier uses these 3 body parts to communicate his area of pain. In this instance it was all the hurt and anguish of breaking up with his wife.

Critics and art historians also have

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theories about art and these theories influence what the critics and historians have to say about the artist. A critic�s view includes his or hers personal experiences and this is how critics and art historians work under the subjective framework. Tim Storrier comments on this by saying, �Other (critics and art historians) people come along and interpret the painting with their own life experiences.� Critics and art historians views include the cultural frame as the idea�s and theories of critics

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and art historians change around the world. We can see this by juxtaposing two views of critics � one from Australia and one from America:

�Australian critics mutter that the local audience and market has been saturated by Storrier�s burning ropes/horses/fists/fruit, and that the artist should apply his skills to another theme.� Unfortunately some Australian critics have been under the influence of what is called the �Tall Poppy Syndrome� where they attack the artists of their choice, they cut them

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down to size, and unusually with no justification. In Storrier�s case they attack his work as being repetitive and irrelevant. Storrier believes that the critics have a go at him because he is

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