Scroll on for Q&As, featured artworks, collections, and links to understand the history of Aboriginal Art, Aboriginal symbols and iconography, what the Dreaming is, and how Dreamtime Stories are conveyed in Aboriginal Art. Above all, learn how to buy Aboriginal Art ethically and avoid unwittingly supporting the many unscrupulous dealers and art galleries operating in plain sight. It's why we started and why we continue.
Discover the beautiful Indigenous art we share, and by choosing us and our community partners, you ensure that you're buying Aboriginal Art you can truly be proud to own.
✱Please find Questions relating to Buying Aboriginal Art further down.
Q: What is Aboriginal Art?
A: Aboriginal Art is a unique visual expression representing the traditions, stories, and histories of Australian Aboriginal Peoples.
Q: How has contemporary Aboriginal Art evolved?
A: While rooted in ancient traditions, contemporary Aboriginal Art now embraces various mediums, techniques, and themes, reflecting both ancestral stories and modern challenges. Discover the Amazing History of Aboriginal Art.
Q: What is the Dreamtime?
A: The Dreamtime, often called "The Dreaming," refers to the ancestral spiritual stories, events, and symbols central to understanding the world from the Aboriginal perspective. Understanding the Dreamtime.
Q: What does the use of dots signify in Aboriginal Art?
A: Dot painting is a traditional Aboriginal Art form as seen in ancient rock paintings. Dots can represent stars, surround waterholes, or share other patterns of nature, while also concealing sacred information from the uninitiated.
Q: What is the significance of symbols in Aboriginal Art?
A: Symbols in Aboriginal Art are a visual language that encapsulates stories, traditions, and knowledge of the land. Each symbol holds specific meanings, often representing elements of nature, ancestral tales, or spiritual concepts. These symbols allow complex stories to be conveyed visually, ensuring the preservation and transmission of cultural narratives across generations. Learn About Aboriginal Art Symbols
Q: Are there different regional styles in Aboriginal Art?
A: Yes. Different Aboriginal regions and clans have distinct art styles, often influenced by local landscapes, myths, and materials. Learn About Aboriginal Art Regions.
Q: What questions should I ask a seller before purchasing Aboriginal Art?
A: Inquire about the artwork's origin, the artist's background, how the artist was compensated, the story behind the artwork, and if a certificate of authenticity will be provided and proof of fair payment.
Q: Why is authenticity paramount when purchasing Aboriginal Art?
A: Authenticity ensures you're getting a genuine piece that reflects true Aboriginal heritage. It preserves the value, both culturally and monetarily, and supports Indigenous artists directly. Remember, authenticity documents are easy to make and really need to show proof of ethicality for them to be of any value. Learn more about Aboriginal Art Authenticity.
Q: How can I recognise reputable Aboriginal Art dealers or galleries?
A: Reputable dealers and galleries often have long-standing relationships with Aboriginal communities, a history of ethical practices, detailed artist profiles, and can provide provenance, authenticity documentation, and do not shy away from questions relating to artist payments. Learn More about buying Aboriginal Art Ethically.
Q: Are there any ethical certifications or standards for Aboriginal Art sellers?
A: Yes, but to muddy the waters further, not all are reputable. The Indigenous Art Code in Australia however is government funded and promotes ethical trading in Indigenous art, seeking transparency, fairness, and respect. Please note, the code is based on good will and should not be viewed as a stamp of approval of ethicality. Learn More about the Indigenous Art Code.
Q: How do I ensure an Aboriginal Art website is reputable?
A: Check for clear artist profiles, affiliations with Aboriginal Art organisations, customer reviews, transparency in pricing, links to Aboriginal Art centres, and provided authenticity documentation.
Q: How can I ensure that the art price is fair?
A: Research and compare prices from reputable galleries and community art centers as some galleries whilst selling ethical Aboriginal Art do inflate prices. Please remember also that genuine art is an investment supporting the artist's skill, time, and cultural significance.
Q: What is the difference between mass-produced prints and original Aboriginal art?
A: Mass-produced prints are repetitive copies, often made without the artist's input or fair compensation. In contrast, original Aboriginal artworks are unique, hand-created pieces reflecting the artist's vision and connection to the story they depict.
Q: Why should I be wary of "Aboriginal-style" art?
A: "Aboriginal-style" often indicates the artwork isn't genuine, potentially being mass-produced or created without Aboriginal input, which doesn't support Indigenous communities and may misrepresent their culture. Sadly, many ''Aboriginal Artworks'' in tourist shops are made overseas. Learn More about Fake Aboriginal Art.
Q: How does the purchase of genuine Aboriginal Art impact the broader Indigenous community?
A: Buying genuine pieces directly supports artists' livelihoods, helps fund community projects, and contributes to the broader recognition and appreciation of Aboriginal culture. Learn More about community Aboriginal Art Centres.
Q: How do I maintain and display my Aboriginal Art piece?
A: For paintings, avoid touching the surface, and consider additional framing to enhance the work. For sculptures or artifacts, handle with clean hands and keep in a stable environment. Learn More about Framing Aboriginal Art.
Q: Is Aboriginal Art a good investment?
A: Beyond its cultural value, Aboriginal Art has seen a rise in global appreciation and demand. While some pieces have increased in value over time, it's essential to purchase art primarily for its cultural and aesthetic significance along with the positive impact it has on the artist and their community.
Q: Can I display Aboriginal Art in public spaces or offices?
A: Yes, but always ensure it's done respectfully, understanding the cultural significance behind the piece. It's also a good practice to provide information about the artist and the artwork's story.
Q: If I want to resell my Aboriginal Art in the future, what should I consider?
A: Ensure you have all provenance documents, maintain the artwork's condition, and work with reputable galleries or auction houses. Be transparent about the artwork's history and ensure future buyers understand its cultural significance.