writer’s choice

Assessment 2 – Annotated and illustrated bibliography       


Topic: Representation and design elements used in traditional and contemporary Indigenous art and design


Annotated Reference List


Aboriginal Art Online (2000), Traditional Aboriginal Art Symbols, Aboriginal Art Online, <http://www.aboriginalartonline.com/culture/symbols.php>, viewed 09th April  2010,

This article stated that the modern paintings of the Central and Western Desert integrate many of inherited designs are painted using ochres ground to a paste with water and applied in stripes or circles. Some of the symbols used are:









Symbols used in Papunya Central Desert art –
Based on information from “Papunya Tula” by Geoffrey Bardon

It also explains that most commonly used symbols are relatively simple, they can be used in elaborate combinations to tell more complex stories. Advance symbols will add to the depth of meaning.

Aboriginal Art Store (2008), Aboriginal Symbols and their Meanings, Aboriginal Art Store,  <http://www.aboriginalartstore.com.au/aboriginal-art-culture/aboriginal-symbols-and-their-m.php>, viewed 09th April 2010,

This article described the Aboriginal people travelled vast distances across their country, significant information was recorded using symbols in regular ceremony. Sand painting and awelye (body painting) ceremonies kept the symbols alive and remembered. Later, these symbols were transformed into a more permanent form using acrylic on canvas but the meanings behind the symbols remains the same. Contemporary Australian Aboriginal paintings from the Central and Western Desert art regions in Central Australia are rich in aboriginal symbols. Example of Contemporary Aboriginal Art symbols:




Bancroft B. (1992), Designer Aboriginals, Artlink Journal, Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art, vol 10, pg 101-102, Artlink Incorporated. 


In this article, Bancroft shared his work “Campfire Calling” a Contemporary art. He used fabrics ranging from cottons to silks to express his ideals and experiences. The painting represents life and society too. He also stated that the design Campfire Calling is a cultural and personal statement about unity and harmony. The circles of the design reflect the circles of our inner lives as well as that of the campfire. “The Call” of the campfire urges us to reunite with each other and the environment.

Campfire Calling.


Berndt R.M., Berndt H.C., and Stanton J.E. (1982), Aboriginal Australian Art: A Visual Perspective, Methuen Australia Pty Ltd, Sydney, NSW.

This journal summarizes of the artist’s use of what appears to be a “fixed” set of symbols such as concentric circles, connecting curves, u-designs, and meandering lines. These are stylistic devices, so that some may consistently interpreted as standing for a particular feature. For example, a concentric circle standing for a rock hole or soak could be refer to a hill, a camp or a fire.

Paul M. Architectural Theory Review, Aboriginal Signs and Architectural Meaning,  Volume 1, Issue 2 November 1996 , pages 79 – 100 , Taylor & Francis Group

In this paper, it examines aspects of the use of signs and symbols encoded in the traditional environmental knowledge and belief systems of specific Australian Aboriginal cultures. It also explain the explores the methods and difficulties of their application to the design of architecture for contemporary Aboriginal groups as well as for the general public.

Australia’s Culture Portal (2007), Australian Indigenous art, Australia’s Culture Portal, < http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/articles/indigenous/art/> viewed 09th April  2010,


This article describes the Australian Indigenous art is the oldest ongoing tradition of art in the world. Initial forms of artistic Aboriginal expression were rock carvings, body painting and ground designs, which date back more than 30,000 years.

The quality and variety of Australian Indigenous art produced today reflects the richness and diversity of Indigenous culture and the distinct differences between tribes, languages, dialects and geographic landscapes. Art has always been an important part of Aboriginal life, connecting past and present, the people and the land, and the supernatural and reality.












Timmy Payungka Tjapangati – Untitled, 1998, synthetic polymer paint on linen. Collection Art Gallery of New South Wales, Mollie Gowing Acquisition Fund for Contemporary Aboriginal Art 200

Keep River National Park – Rock Art at Nganalam. Photograph courtesy of Tourism NT.







Creative spirits (2008), Aboriginal Rock Art , Creative spirits ,

<http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/arts/aboriginal-rock-art.html> viewed 11th April  2010,

Australian Aboriginal rock art is world famous. Australia has one of the oldest and largest open-air rock art sites in the world (on the Burrup Peninsula), and Aboriginal rock art sites can be found almost everywhere in rural, remote and even urban environments.

This article explained of how were Aboriginal rock engravings created. Aboriginal rock engravings were cut into sandstone which geologically is a soft sedimentary rock. Aboriginal people first pegged holes along the outline of the figure which they then connected in a second step. Other than this, this article also tells why aboriginal rock art is a “place”. Process to identify an Aboriginal rock art site also explained in this article and tell us about the Threats to Australia’s rock art.











Erosion has taken away the upper sandstone layers exposing the bottom of the rock engraving where the peg marks can be seen. (Balls Head, Sydney)






Aboriginal Affairs (2008), Aborginal Rock Art,  Aboriginal Affairs

<http://www.aboriginalaffairs.vic.gov.au/web7/rwpgslib.nsf/GraphicFiles/AA_14_RockArt_13/$file/AA_14_RockArt_13.06.08.pdf> viewed 11th April  2010,

Aboriginal people created artworks on rock surfaces. These include stencils, prints and drawings in rock shelters, and engravings in limestone caves. Rock shelter paintings are usually of small stick fi gures, other simple forms such as kangaroo and emu tracks, and sets of stripes or bars. A few hand prints and hand stencils occur in Gariwerd (the Grampians).

This article explained, ‘What Is Aboriginal Rock Art? Where is it found? Why did Aboriginal people produce rock art? The Bunjil Painting. What are the subjects in

Aboriginal rock art? How did Aboriginal People produce rock art? How old is Aboriginal rock art? Are Aboriginal rock art sites protected? What if you find an Aboriginal rock art site?












Hand Stencils in Manja Shelter, Gariwerd




Gondwananet,  Aboriginal Body Painting, Gondwananet

<http://www.gondwananet.com/aboriginal-body-painting.html> viewed 11th April  2010,


Aboriginal body painting is an old tradition that has been carried out for thousands of years. As with other aspects of Aboriginal culture, the body paintings varied depending on the tribe and where in Australia each tribe lived. Here is some information about what kinds of body decorations there are, what they mean and when they were (and still are) used. This article describe the different kinds of body decorations, which means they used different types of body decorations such as body painting, face painting, ornaments, feathers, and scaring. All those were more than just art. They all had a meaning. It also describes t he spiritual meaning and tells about the orna ments and othe r decoratio ns













World Socialist Web Site (2010), A major discovery of Aboriginal cave paintings in Australia, World Socialist Web Site <http://www.wsws.org/articles/2003/aug2003/rock-a05.shtml> viewed 11th April  2010,


This article tells about the major discovery of aboriginal cave paintings in Australia According to Aboriginal religious belief, some of these composite images are of ancestral beings and present on the rock walls since mythical times. Under this system of belief, human beings did not paint these images but were produced by ancient ancestors settling into the cave walls, while their spirits may have travelled on. The meaning and purpose of cave paintings are complicated and varied. Some images record mythological stories, sorcery, fertility and death rituals, while others depict the hunt. It was also believed that drawing a particular animal would stimulate the species to propagate and that the ritual act of painting or touching these depictions would release sacred energy or power.




Cooinda-Gallery(2009) , Dot painting symbol and icon meaning , Cooinda-Gallery

<http://www.cooinda-gallery.com.au/aboriginal_art.asp> viewed 12th April  2010,


Campsite, Hill,
Digging Hole,
Digging stick
Person sitting
Snake, Smoke,
Water flow
Rain, Ants
Clouds, Rainbow
Path, Track
Body paint
Coolamon (carrying dish)

Foot prints Spear thrower






This article describe the ‘Dot paintings’ are stories that were traditionally drawn in the sand to teach the culture and impart the traditional ways of the aboriginal people to their young – it is their ‘language’, and tells of the time of the Dreaming when the Ancestors roamed the countryside shaping the country into what we see today. D







The art designs vary greatly in style from one area to another, from the art of Far NorthQueensland with it’s ‘x-ray’ style or ‘crosshatching’ seen on bark paintings, to the ‘dot’or ‘sand’ paintings of the deserts of Central Australia.

Australian Aboriginal culture encompasses a belief in the ‘creation’ or ‘dreaming’ (Jukurrpa) when ancestors roamed the countryside forming rivers, rock formations, waterholes and hills.The ‘stories’ of these times are still celebrated today, using sacred objects, song and dance.

Exoticdestinationpaintings (2007) , Aboriginal painting symbol: Face painting & Body painting, Exortic Art of Vito <http://www.exoticdestinationpaintings.com/aboriginal-symbols.html> viewed 12th April  2010,


The colorful and mystical art of Australian aborigines is quite symbolic not only of its tribal and cultural traditions, but also in its unique abstraction of nature.

In this article explained, The didgeridoos alone are so organic and artistic with carvings and paintings—as they had always been decorated for centuries. Some depict desert sand paintings, rock art, mosaics and bark paintings. Others tell of stories from seaside tribes and exotic islanders. Many more depict canoes and picturesque hunters and fishermen.


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