As the Indigenous artists paint diverse scenes, they draw inspiration from their homestead. The mountains, the deserts, the rivers, the seas and the outback.
They stay connected to their roots and the nurturing country. They tap into the Dreamtime, the Songlines and the Dance Cycles until inspiration comes forth, flooding the already abundant pool of ideas, creativity and imagination.
The art regions carry a variety of signature art techniques and themes that are particular to the region. Here’s a look at the Indigenous art regions of Australia that are the source of some of the most stunning artworks of our times!
1. Arnhem Land: Northern Territory
Located in the remote north-eastern corner of Northern Territory (NT), Arnhem Land is perhaps the largest Aboriginal Reserve in Australia as well as the most isolated. The art from this region is distinct and stresses on the sustained and continuing traditions of its people.
2. Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Lands: South Australia
A stretching and arid country in the north-western corner of South Australia, APY (Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara) Lands are a testament to the Aboriginal culture. The vast lands inspire bright and colourful artworks.
3. Central: Northern Territory
Situated in the geographical centre of Australia, the Central Norther Territory (NT) region specialises in artworks that depict areal views of landforms and natural phenomena in splendid bright colours.
4. Central Desert: Northern Territory
Women artists dominate the art scene in this region and their fine dotted work depicting women’s ceremonies is a trademark. Women pay homage to the country and fulfil their role as custodians of the land.
5. Eastern Desert: Northern Territory
Acrylic paintings on canvas are the dominant artistic medium in this region. Carvings, etchings and weavings found on wood and textile depict various ceremonies and rituals of importance to the community.
6. Far North Queensland: Queensland
Encompassing all of Cape York Peninsula as well as the islands of the Gulf of Carpentaria and a small area of remote Queensland south of Cairns, the region includes a number of language groups and cultures. A wide range of artworks come from here including - paintings, carvings, weavings, sculpture, printmaking and more.
7. Kimberley: Western Australia
Many artists use the traditional techniques and paint using ochre. Figurative and abstract paintings that cover a wide variety of important themes are sourced from here.
8. Outback: South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland
Sharing artistic and cultural connections that go beyond the immediate, this innovative region produces an array of artworks such as fibre, printmaking, carvings and screen-printing. Each piece is unique, vibrant and imaginative.
9. Tiwi: Northern Territory
The Tiwi Islands are home to the Tiwi people. The islands are located in the Timor Sea, 100km north of Darwin. Art from this region imbibes complex motifs and symbology, and showcases a deep and rustic palette.
10. Torres Strait Islands: Queensland
A group of 274 small islands that has inspired some very alluring artworks. Intricate designs that please the eye and vivid colours that create contrast, art from this region has a unique feel to it.
11. West Coast: Western Australia
The West Coast region is a large area of Western Australia, encompassing a variety of physical, social and cultural sub-regions. Communities and their art centres share strong partnerships with resource companies. All this and more flavours the art from this region.
12. Western Desert: Northern Territory and Western Australia
This region is a melting pot of different cultural groups, regional languages and the traditions they carry. Art here exhibits a vibrant use of colours and a bold and daring style that is a mix of various techniques.