Home Arts 6 Myriad Styles You Must Know About Aboriginal Art 

6 Myriad Styles You Must Know About Aboriginal Art 

by Alsion Lurie

Aboriginal art is quite often regarded as the most ancient living form of art on earth. This art form is quite popular for standing out from the crowd. With the incorporation of symbols, dots, colours, and much more, this art form has been in the spotlight for the longest time. The backdrop of this art form is quite distinctive since it goes back 50,000 years and more. From illustrative body painting to filling gaps with dots, this particular art form is quite noteworthy and should definitely get a place in your home. Are you curious about buying a work of indigenous art but confused about which one? Well, it might be baffling to pick among the numerous types of art. 

This post hopes to guide you through the buying process by explaining all the types of aboriginal art. 


Different Styles of Indigenous Art Forms

Indigenous art is a product of the indigenous people of Australia who resided there for thousands of years. It should be noted that this art is regional and portrays specific tribal characters and styles. The meanings of symbols and presentation approaches vary from tribe to tribe. Therefore, when you are looking at a particular painting, you are looking at a community as a whole. Now that you have understood this art form, let’s study the different types. 

1 X-Ray Style

This art can be defined as traditional art that is created to display localised stories and animals. The painters render the animals to highlight all the anatomical features as you see them in an X-Ray. One of the motives of X-Ray art is to represent the artist’s association with and feelings towards their country folk, land, and natural resources. This art form is often considered three-dimensional for depicting bones and viscera. 

2 Cross Hatching

Also called Rarrk, this work is believed to convey immense auspicious power. This art is a cultural product of the Kunwinjku tribe. The art form of cross-hatching with fine lines is specifically popular for representing sea creatures like turtles and other aquatic creatures. They used bristles as fine as hair. The bristles come from reed stems or human heads, and they are used to diligently detail the rarrk. 

3 Dot Painting

Central Australia is more inclined towards producing abstract art forms, and dot painting is one of them. The art form majorly originates from the religious creations used during rituals. Dot painting has extensive variations, from the intricate dots created with small sticks to bigger and bolder dots. Some artists choose an earthy palette, while others prefer vibrant colours. Dot painting is found in body paintings and ground art as well. 

4 Bush Medicine Leaves

This art form was popularised by the painting of Gloria Petyarre, who, for her artwork, received the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island in 1999. 

5 Colour Fields

The famous Kudditji Kngwarreye pioneered the practice of painting colour fields and is currently considered a connoisseur of this form. In fact, his work is often stated to resemble that of Mark Rothko, whose style is American Modernism. 

6 Wandjinas

This art form is only present in Kimberley, in northeastern Western Australia (yes, read that again if you must) and nowhere else. The residents of that region majorly comprise three languages: the Worrorra, Ngarinyin, and Wunumbal. 

There are even more varieties of indigenous artistic styles, and each of them has unique features. Someone interested in buying should learn about all the different types before finalising their decision. Browse collections from the best Australian galleries today.

Author Bio:

Alison Lurie is a farmer of words in the field of creativity. She is an experienced independent content writer with a demonstrated history of working in the writing and editing industry. She is a multi-niche content chef who loves cooking new things.