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Free Australian Art Poster
New Zealand Art
Australian Art Historically
Australian art is any art made in Australia or about Australia, from prehistoric times to the present. Australia has produced many fine artists of both Western and Indigenous Art. Australian art is a vast topic so this is an overview of its overall development. Not every Australian artist of import could be covered, even with 182 pages.
Aboriginal art dates back at least 30,000 years. Aboriginal rock and cave artworks are found throughout the continent. Prime examples are in national parks. Aboriginal art may be the oldest art tradition in the world. The Western Desert Art Movement was a 20th-century aboriginal art movement. The aboriginal artists added acrylic paint to their supplies in the later 20th century.
The Colonial art period was from 1770–1900. The artists gradually shifted during this period from working with European light to Australian light. The two qualities of light are quite different. If one painted an Australian landscape with European methods of conveying light, it did not look right.
The Colonial period began with skills and techniques these artists brought to the new land from Europe. As the artists merged with the society and land, they kept adapting their styles so that it was more in tune with the new land.
The Heidelberg School of the 1880s-1890s established an Australian painting tradition. The name came from an art camp artists Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton had set up at a property near Heidelberg (outside Melbourne).
The painters at the camp used an impressionistic plein air technique with the Australian landscape. This art is now deeply embedded within the Australian culture. The camp members paintings were pastoral and depicted outback Australia. The French Impressionists greatly influenced this group.
The first slides are of the aboriginal rock and cave art. That is followed by the Colonial Period art. Then modern art is covered.
All Australian art shows a very strong connection with the land itself, every bit of its terrain.