Australian Art - Sample Essay

Australian aboriginal art and post colonial art are classified under art of Australia. In both western traditions and indigenous traditions Australia has produced distinguished artists. The uniting subject for both histories of Australian art is the sacredness and importance of the land. (Smith 42) Early colonial art when taken to Europe was received with skepticism. John Lewin was the first resident professional Australian artist; he arrived in 1800 and had two publications on natural history of art. In natural history, in 830 especially there was some ethnographic portraiture of Aboriginals. (Lindsay 138)

There has been a gradual change since 1788 in Australian art from a European sense of light to an Australian one. Lighting sense in European differ from Australian this is reflected on early attempts at landscapes. In 1835 to 1878 Conrad Martens a professional artist painted many landscapes which made him financially successful. His work on landscape was regarded softened so as to fit European emotional response. John Glover was another significant landscape artist of this era. (Pratt 69, 240) In 1840s attempts of art exhibitions were made and managed to attract some artists but there financial difficulties.

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Regular exhibition became popularized by 1850s with huge display of various arts. (Lindsay 138) Decorative art such as water color painting, miniature, and functional objects such as urns, before second war I became more popular in Australia. Modernist art after World War I began to be felt and cause disputes between detractors and its practitioners. (Wood 30) Archibald Prize the most famed art prize was founded in 1921 even though definition of portraiture has always yielded to disagreements. There was evident cross pollination of Aboriginal and western art in 1930s and 1940s, after Australian interior was opened.

(Art Gallery of New South Wales 19-22) Artists in 1940s began to try other styles such as Surrealism and others. John Brack brought to attention suburban landscape; there was an increased landscape painting. Brett Whitely a Sydney artist was one of the known painters till his passing away in 1992. (Biennale of Sydney, 102) Papunya Tula School or ‘dot art’ developed after Geoffrey Bardon a teacher in 1971-1972 motivated the Aboriginal people of Papunya to paint their dream time narratives on canvas, one of well known artist of ‘dot art’ is Clifford Possum.

Dot Art style art has become well recognized through out the world. Some of well known contemporary Australian artist have progressively used video and photography i. e. Tracy Moffat in their work. (Art Gallery of New 50-62) Aboriginal artists that make use of western in-between have been recognized internationally and seen as recent time great painters’ example being Freddy Timms. The Australian war memorial has some authorized war artists such as Rick Amor and others for East Timor peacekeeping mission, Lewis Miller in the 2003 Iraq War. (Bosch 90)



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