Walk into any paintings shop and you are bound to find an aboriginal dot painting. This type of art carries its history from the desert painting where images were created on the ground using natural substances. They gained recognition in the 1970,s through interception of a white teacher who encouraged the painters to create murals based on their dreams on their class room walls. At this point the Papunya art movement was born through which the painter could express their designs. It has grown over the years to be one of Australian’s most coveted arts.
History of the painting
In the early times, dot painting was carried out as a way of a spiritual ritual. During the process, earth would be cleared and natural materials used to create the required designs. This would be transferred to a canvas where palette of red, yellow, black and white colors produced from natural products consisting of the ochre, charcoal and pipe clay would be used to depict the image. The pieces used in this purpose illustrated the traditional visual language of the Aboriginal people who occupied the western deserts. When their products became public, the dots and lines on the canvas were used to conceal the sacred messages contained in the painting.
Popularity of the paintings
Aboriginal dot painting creates an atmosphere that is filled with emotions and created to identify with an occurrence either past or existing. The technique of using the dots either to create the image or conceal the content of the painting offers a sense of movement and rhythm which causes the canvas to appear dancing with life and energy to the idea of it creator. Other than being used to represent spiritual creations, the paintings are also used to showcase symbols of fruits harvests, rains of the aboriginal people. Growth in artistic ideas has made the culture to develop and be more innovative hence creating more popularity world over.
Meanings in the aboriginal painting
According to the Australian’s culture, everything natural to them has a meaning. It is for this reason that any aboriginal art created carries with it a creating message. This may be a song dedicated to certain heroes of the community or to their ancestor. However, it takes much more than the painting to understand the meaning the painting carries, a tour around the desert is an ideal way to learn and understand the various messages which are replicated in the painting and what they mean to the residents and the aboriginal people.
Despite the changing trends in technology and the quest to have the world adopt a unified culture, various communities over the world have in place mechanisms to carry on their cultures to generations. This is what is being carried on through aboriginal dot painting where the art is passed on between generations. The young and new generations are taught to use the dots and lines to create their intended feeling and as well to conceal that which is considered to be secret. In modern times the use of acrylic is common for better and effective paintings. However, it is the older paintings which are considered to be more interesting and contain more artistic features.