Australian Indigenous Art: Politically or Spiritually Motivated

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Historically Australian indigenous art is often politically or spiritually motivated.

Historically Australian art is often politically or spiritually motivated. This statement is proved by a number of indigenous Australian artists including, Nellie Nakamarra Marks, who uses traditional techniques and motives to relay her spirituality, and Tony Albert, who recontextualises mainstream items, to create a postmodern collection, challenging the idea of stereotypical representations in mainstream culture. All spiritual beliefs in Aboriginal culture relate back to the idea of creation and dreaming. The dreaming is the ongoing cultural and spiritual progression that informs identity and knowledge, which is expressed through traditional indigenous art. This reflects a spiritual connection to the land, which is represented by signs and symbols as well as other various techniques, which are unique to traditional indigenous art. Signs and symbols can represent a particular location, object or landmark, or a particular story or totem that would be specific to a particular tribe, corroboree or dreamtime story. In traditional indigenous artworks, there is no perspective or fixed vanishing points for landscape artworks because indigenous Australians do not see their environment as a landscape, but their particular world and universe. They create a concept of place by using signs and symbols to create a map-like artwork, which represents their particular ‘world’ and universe. Essentially, traditional indigenous Australian artists are painting their spirituality, by expressing their connection to the land through signs, symbols and their world. Nellie Nakamarra Marks is a traditional indigenous artist, from the east of Kintore in the Northern Territory. In her work Kalipinypa, there is no set pattern and everything is connected which suggests her spiritualty and connection with the land. Her use of the traditional form of dot painting for her particular area of the Central...
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