FAQ's About Aboriginal Art

Home » Aboriginal Art Library » Frequently Asked Questions about Aboriginal Art:


  1. What is Aboriginal Art?

Aboriginal Art refers to the traditional artwork created by the Indigenous people of Australia. It encompasses a variety of mediums including paintings on canvas, linen, bark, rock carvings, and body painting, often depicting stories from the Dreamtime.


  1. How old is Aboriginal Art?

The rock art from Aboriginal Australians is believed to be the oldest continuously practiced artistic tradition in the world, with some estimates dating it back over 60,000 years.


  1. What do the symbols in Aboriginal Art mean?

The symbols often represent different aspects of life, nature, and Dreamtime stories. For instance, a U-shape often signifies a person, while concentric circles can represent a waterhole or campsite. The meaning of the symbols will vary from region to region as well.


  1. Why are dots commonly used in Aboriginal paintings?

Dots were used to hide sacred symbols and messages. When Indigenous art began to be more commercialized, many artists started using dots to obscure the sacred designs underneath. They have become one of the most recognised features to immediately identify an art genre.


  1. How is Aboriginal Art used in ceremonies?

Art, in the form of body paint or ceremonial objects, plays a significant role in various indigenous ceremonies, helping to tell stories and convey deep spiritual beliefs.


  1. Is it okay to buy Aboriginal Art?

Absolutely! However, it’s important to ensure its ethically sourced and comes from a reputable gallery or art centre. Buying from authentic sources supports Aboriginal artists and their communities in a big way and helps keep the oldest continuous culture in history survive.


  1. How can one authenticate genuine Aboriginal Art?

Look for good provenance and a certificate of authenticity. Longevity in the market. Membership with relevant associations is a great sign too. Artlandish has been in business since 2001, provides certificates of authenticity with every purchase and is a member of the  Aboriginal Art Association of Australia (AAAA) and an original signatory of the Indigenous Art Code.



  1. What stories do Aboriginal artworks tell?

Many artworks depict stories from the Dreamtime, ancestral tales, and significant events or lessons. They can also represent the land, animals, and daily life.


  1. Are there any restrictions on exporting Aboriginal Art?

It’s always best to check current customs regulations. Generally, if purchased legally and ethically, there shouldn’t be significant issues.


  1. How has Aboriginal Art influenced modern art?

Numerous modern artists, both within and outside Australia, have been deeply influenced by the techniques, symbols, and stories found in Aboriginal Art.

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