The Indigenous artwork and craft sector deliver important economic, societal, and cultural advantages to Indigenous people, communities, and the larger Australian and international societies. Indigenous art has been characterised as “Australia’s biggest cultural contribution to the world”. There are many places where you can buy Australian art. The sector’s cultural advantages have been described as unquantifiable.
Indigenous Australian Art
Indigenous Australian art covers work created by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander citizens and partnerships with others. It comprises works in various mediums, such as painting on trees, bark paintings, carving, ceremonial dress, and sand painting; art by Indigenous Australians dating back thousands of years, up to the current day.
The sector’s economic advantages are enormous, but they are hard to quantify due to a lack of comprehensive data. The nation, solo artists and their towns, the arts industry, and adjacent business sectors benefit economically. You can buy Australian art to contribute to the economy.
According to one 2002 survey, arts and craft centres earned $10 million in sales yearly. According to Northern Territory tourism data, tourists to the NT spent $28 million on Aboriginal art in 2000-01. According to a six-year chart, this figure is lower than sales in 1995-96, and spending on Aboriginal art created in 1997-98 earned almost $50 million.
The cash stream introduced into areas that would otherwise depend on CDEP and welfare payments generates economic benefits.
Art forms and craft activities give considerable social advantages to Indigenous people. Involvement in the visual arts improves community social cohesiveness, increases wellness and well-being, and offers a variety of advantages across many sectors.
Being an Indigenous painter or artisan is a different calling than being a European artist. These social benefits are manifested in the communal nature and function of art in the lifestyles of Indigenous communities and particularly Indigenous artists.
Indigenous Group Benefits
The visual arts form has been used effectively as a method of expression for various groups within the Indigenous society. The art forms, in particular, have given a means for Indigenous women to improve in terms of personal growth and self-esteem, economic freedom, and community empowerment. Indigenous individuals with disabilities have also embraced visual arts as a way of expression.
Some Indigenous artists with impairments have benefited from programmes that support their artistic ability. The initiatives have given them a platform to express themselves, boost their self-esteem, and offer a financial means of support.
Features of Traditional Indigenous Art
Rock art, such as painting and etching, can be found around Australia. Extinct megafauna like Genyornis and Thylacoleo from the Pleistocene period have been depicted in rock art, with more current historical events like the introduction of European ships.
Aboriginal stone patterns are a type of rock art that Aboriginal Australians create. They are often made of stones, each around 30 cm in size, arranged in a pattern that spans several metres. Each stone is deeply sunk in the soil, and the majority are supported by “trigger stones.”
Wood carving has always been an important aspect of Aboriginal culture, necessitating the use of wood and rough stone to carve, rope, and fire. By warming the wires with the fire and laying it on the wood carving, designs were created on the object.
In most Pacific countries, men are in charge of art and architecture, while women are in charge of felted textiles made from tree bark and vegetation. The chief lady in charge of production supervises the stitching and weaving.
The committee provided compelling proof of how the Indigenous art forms and craft sector contributes significantly to the economy, society, and culture. Indigenous peoples, societies, and the Australian and international communities gain when you buy Australian art.