Introduced in the early 1980s, Australian aboriginal art is a relatively recent phenomenon in modern art. It is both a vital expression of the world’s oldest continuous cultural tradition and a remarkable modern art movement. World renowned critic and writer Robert Hughes has described Australian Aboriginal Art as “the world’s last great art movement,” and investors are paying great attention.
Much aboriginal mythology is contained within “dreamings.” A dreaming is a body of secret wisdom from the Dreamtime (Altjeringa) that explains the very nature of the universe. The participants in these Dreamings were spirit ancestors, the embodiment of the first plants, animals, and natural elements, whose actions set the natural order in motion. When these ancestral spirits finished their business, they sank back into the ground from which they had emerged or turned into rocks and trees, creating the physical features of the contemporary landscape. The routes of their ceaseless journeys, the places where they camped, fought, and loved, the tracks they made became charged with their sacred power. The Aboriginal artist invests their emotions into the canvas in an attempt to draw the viewer into their dreaming. These paintings have an atmosphere that transforms the casual observer into an active participant. They capture a synergy and a precision that belies the primitive subject matter and demonstrates that the art is the very soul of this ancient continent.