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Aboriginal Art of Australia – Cultural Artifacts or Contemporary Art?

Australian Aboriginal art that is created in our contemporary era is viewed collectively as cultural artifacts or contemporary art or a combination of both.

The Aboriginal Art Movement of the late 20th Century and early 21st Century is the most recent Modern Western Art Movement to produce an intriguing array of artworks to grace the exhibitions of art galleries, the halls of company boardrooms, corporate and hotel foyers and the homes, shops and offices of ardent collectors, investors, dealers and art connoisseurs around the world.

Aboriginal Art Gallery @ Australia Gift Shop offers paintings online by major Aboriginal artists, such as this beautiful work by Caroline Numina.

Aboriginal Art Gallery @ Australia Gift Shop offers paintings online by major Aboriginal artists, such as this beautiful work by Caroline Numina.


Aboriginal artists are tribal guardians of the mythical Dreamtime. The Dreamtime was the time of creation when ancestral spirits walked the earth. Their paintings represent Dreamings, which are totemic and narrative aspects of this Dreamtime. Spirits and stories are represented in the works of Aboriginal artists through a broad vocabulary of symbols and highly-stylized images. They employ this imagery as stewards of tribal knowledge and stories – veritable keepers of ancient tribal wisdom and an ostensibly pre-historic culture. Each great contemporary Indigenous artist is like a sphinx in the desert, standing guard over a sort of inner sanctum containing the ark of their covenant with the Dreamtime spirits.

Contemporary Aboriginal art media is today’s platform for preserving long-past spiritual life and tribal culture, analogous to glowing, transparent amber preserving and displaying life forms we would otherwise never have known existed in the distant past.

The original art media used for Aboriginal art included the walls of caves, rock faces, the desert sand, human bodies, wooden weapons and tree bark. Painting on canvas was introduced by a Caucasian school teacher to Aboriginal tribesmen in Papunya Tula in the Western Desert of Australia’s Northern Territory in 1972.

After that, the use of batik on cloth was introduced to the women of the Aboriginal communities in the Utopia region. Gloria Petyarre was one of these artists. They also eventually took to painting on canvas. Some make artistic and sometimes politically confrontational videos, while others paint or create art designs for tableware, homeware, fashion accessories and even jumbo jets.  

Within their cultural context, their paintings are expressions of the Dreamings.

Without their cultural context, their paintings are inspired works which capture human archetypal forms and images that speak with a universal voice about feelings, moods and atmospheres from deep within our dreams and before our first childhood memories.

Whether viewed as sacred cultural artifacts of anthropological interest or purely as works of contemporary art, Aboriginal art paintings by the major artists in our gallery have appreciating and substantial value both as uniquely transcendent décor and investment art collector pieces.

  • For an Online Visit to the Aboriginal Art Gallery for Investors & Collectors of Fine Art at Australia Gift Shop please visit . You will find an Aladdin’s cave of bright and colourful hand-painted Australian Aboriginal artifacts, Australian Aboriginal art products, Australiana gifts and iconic Aussie souvenirs to purchase from.
  • Contact Australia Gift Shop  (07) 41593043 (within Australia)
  • Contact Australia Gift Shop  +61 7 41593043 (outside Australia)

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