An Aboriginal artist displaying a print with traditional Tiwi Islands designs

Aboriginal art

From ancient rock art in Kakadu and bark paintings in Arnhem Land to the thriving art scene in Alice, indigenous art is a big part of Territory life.

From the ancient rock art in Kakadu National Park and the traditional bark paintings of Arnhem Land to today’s thriving art scene in Alice Springs, indigenous art is a big part of life all across the Territory. With creative and storytelling traditions dating back 40,000 years and these ancient practices changing from region to region, the depth and diversity of Aboriginal art is a vivid reminder of the NT’s rich cultural heritage.

The region is now home to a staggering number of galleries. See works on display, get an opportunity to meet the artists, and gain an insight into the traditions and processes handed down from generation to generation.

Modern Dreaming

Over the last thirty years Aboriginal art has enjoyed an increasing profile across Australia and the globe. From traditional dot paintings that encompass the spiritual elements of the Dreamtime to modern styles that boast a mix of western and indigenous traditions, the Aboriginal art scene is a great way to explore and gain an understanding of the local culture.

Visit galleries in Darwin and Alice Springs to access the biggest displays of indigenous art. Most galleries will allow you to meet the artist and see them at work.

Off the tree

Visual styles, storytelling techniques and materials vary from the central and western desert regions to Arnhem Land and the Tiwi Islands, yet the study of the landscape and their indigenous ancestry is a common theme.

Bark is still widely used around the NT and is a popular medium amongst the artistic community in Arnhem Land, where travellers can visit during festival time to take part in art auctions and cultural activities.

Traditional designs also appear as decorative features on didgeridoos, boomerangs and other tribal instruments, which make great souvenirs from your trip to the territory. Also keep an eye out for hand-woven baskets, woodcarvings and jewellery.

Aboriginal art highlights

Explore Aboriginal culture by region



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