Traditional Symbols in Contemporary Aboriginal Art
Traditional symbols are an essential part of the work of many contemporary Aboriginal artists. The traditions from which today’s Aboriginal art have grown can be traced deep into Aboriginal peoples’ history. These traditional art forms are replete with conventional designs and symbols, which can be adapted by the modern Aboriginal artist.
When applied to any surface – whether on the body of a person taking part in a ceremony or on a shield – these symbols have the power to imbue the object or person with religious significance and power.
Through the use of designs inherited from ancestors, contemporary artists continue their connections to country and the Dreaming.
For these reasons, body decoration using ancestral designs is an important part ofmany ceremonies.
In central Australia, inherited designs are painted onto the face and body using ochres ground to a paste with water and applied in stripes or circles. The modern paintings of the Central and Western Desert Aboriginal artists incorporate many of these designs.
Some Traditional Symbols in Aboriginal Art
Some of the meaningful, powerful symbols used in contemporary Aboriginal art and traditional ceremony and religious art are:
Locations and events from Tingari Dreaming stories and songs.
Body paint or Awelye
Australian and Oceanic Art Gallery have a selection of Contemporary Aboriginal Art from many Australian Artists Indigenous and non-indigenous, browse our List of Artists
to find paintings from many collectable artists throughout Australia or take advantage of the paintings and limited edition prints offered for sale. We have a large collection of North Queensland Art from some of the most collectible North Queensland Artists.