Aboriginal art isn’t just the oldest living art form on Earth, it is also the largest ever arts movement.

According to Aboriginal art expert Nigel Lendon of the College of Arts and Social Sciences at ANU in Canberra, Australia can also reasonably claim that it harbours the largest ever arts movement, based on total number of artists (building on a centuries-old tradition), and also based on the sheer number of pieces produced. And as Prof Lendon points out, Aboriginal art is also an art form firmly on the rise.

However, if you don’t exactly have the time and funds required to get out there and view an Indigenous artistic creation at its outback source, fear not: the state galleries in our capital cities have all given Indigenous art more prominence in the last 20 years and now show a mix of contemporary and ancient Indigenous art in them.

The number of Aboriginal artists has grown around tenfold since the 1970s, and there are now also some significant collections overseas.

Where // State galleries across Australia and remote Aboriginal communities in Northern Australia.

Did you know? // Aboriginal artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s (1910-1996) vibrant four-panel painting “Earth’s Creation” fetched the highest price ever paid for a work by a female Australian artist in May 2007: just over $1m.


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