As is the case for many famous, influential Aboriginal artists, Rover Thomas started to paint later in life. Though his career was relatively short, his artistic reach extended far, with his style now recognised as one of the founding styles of the Warmun communities distinctive style. His unique way of painting was part of a collective to bring control back to the community through art, as well as promoting the language, culture, and literature of Gija people.
From carvings dating 65,000 years old to digital media and photography in the modern day, Aboriginal Art is expressed and captured in a variety of ways. Not only does this assortment of mediums give us a look at the details and intricacy of the tribal designs, but it also gives an insight into the unbroken tradition of art making for Aboriginal people.
It’s long been established that Aboriginal Art is the oldest unbroken tradition of art in the world. Through different mediums, the indigenous people of Australia found a way to communicate their ancestral ties and connection to the land they have inhabited for thousands of years.
Emily Kngwarreye was one of the most successful and prominent artists in contemporary Aboriginal Australian Art. Born in 1910 in the Utopia community of Australia’s Northern Territory, Kngwarreye produced an incredible spectrum of work in her own unique style despite not taking up painting in a serious way until she was nearly 80.
The origins of the Modern Aboriginal Art Movement, as we know it today, can be traced to the community of Papunya, a government enforced outstation, and an unknowing catalyst, an art teacher by the name of Geoffrey Bardon.