This resource addresses the cross-curriculum priorities of the Australian Curriculum relating to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures. It encourages students to learn more about the ideas, stories and practices that Indigenous Australian artists explore in the expression of their culture.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people belong to one, or several, of hundreds of traditional nations throughout Australia. The lands of each of these traditional nations are most often referred to as ‘country’, and ‘my country’ by Indigenous Australians. Today, many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have moved away from their lands, but, of course, still have strong bonds with their country.
Accordingly, the work of Indigenous artists is informed by their place, their country. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures are living cultures undergoing constant adaptation. Many people relate to their regional culture, as well as to an urban Indigenous culture. Many artists living in remote areas are heavily involved in preserving and reinvigorating cultural traditions in the face of change, while urban-based Indigenous artists are often engaged in political debate and practices reflecting contemporary social situations.
The practices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists are informed by heritage, history and place, while artists’ choices of media can be influenced by regional art traditions and access to materials and training. Likewise, an artist’s visual language reflects their heritage and affiliations, and many artists from urban areas have formed entirely new visual vocabularies to tell their stories.
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© Queensland Art Gallery 2013
This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced without prior written permission from the publisher. No illustration may be reproduced without the permission of the copyright owners.
Requests and inquiries concerning reproduction and rights should be addressed to the publisher. Copyright for texts is held by the Queensland Art Gallery. Copyright of images is held by individual photographers and institutions as attributed.
This educational resource was developed by Access, Education and Regional Services, in consultation with Curatorial, Web Design and Photography staff, 2013. The Queensland Art Gallery | Gallery of Modern Art (QAGOMA) acknowledges the generous support and curriculum expertise offered by teacher advisory group members.