Friday, May 2, 2008

Oceania - Aboriginal painting

Aboriginal painting

Ancestral Rock Paintings The Wandjini figures
Australian Aboriginal art is the oldest living art tradition in the world. It dates back to over 20,000 years and since a lot of the painting was done in rock shelters it has been protected and is still exists today.

The Wandjini figures painting includes the naturalistic painting of humans or spirits and animal figures such as emus and goannas. It also has non-naturalistic, or "abstract" designs with concentric circles, "u" shapes and lines. This art with its symbols and figures has influenced modern Aboriginal art.
The colours of Aboriginal rock paintings are reds, yellows, browns and black and white and come from hard rocks coloured by iron oxide.

One method to imprint a hand onto rock wall, different coloured rock (ochre) was crushed up and ground to a smooth texture and then the hand would be pressed down onto the colour and then would be pressed up against the rock wall.
This hand is in a square shaped light background which contrasts with the dark red shape of the hand. This colour contrast of light and dark makes the hand stand out. The hand, as the only shape, looks powerful and significant. The painting takes on the texture of the cave wall.

Aboriginal Rock Art of Northern Australia
Another method to imprint a hand art is to use a object as a stencil. In the above painting a hand and two half boomerangs were used as stencils and ochre with water was blown from the mouth over and around the stencil.
Red ochre was used on white rock creating a contrast in colour which highlights the white. The texture is again that of the rock wall.


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