Aboriginal art is a global multi-million dollar business, and for many non-Aboriginal people, the stereotypical view is that Aboriginal art is only authentic if it is in the form of dot paintings. Contemporary Victorian Aboriginal art, however, emanates from range of lifestyles, landscapes, cultural experiences and beliefs. Many Koori artists work from ancestral designs and their continuing connection to the land, producing possum skin cloaks, carving emu eggs and creating artefacts such as shields, boomerangs and jewellery, while others are inspired by contemporary issues, blending cultural traditions with personal, political views and contemporary modes. Many urban Aboriginal artists use their art practice to affect change across their communities through the provision and delivery of community cultural development projects to enable positive outcomes in colonised and disadvantaged families and groups. Contemporary Aboriginal art practice is an expression of Aboriginal story/stories and is a way of articulating cultural sovereignty, autonomy, survival and resistance to dominant colonial and patriarchal narratives. In this unit, students investigate and understand the range of Victorian Indigenous art, its cultural underpinnings and its style and medium. Students analyse the impact of colonisation on Victorian Aboriginal communities, the art practices in relation to outcomes in disadvantaged communities, the reclamation of cultural practices and oral traditions and subsequent effects on art style and subject matter. Students also reflect on their own understandings and undertake comparative research on Aboriginal art in an Australian and global Indigenous context.
On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
Readings will be available in VUC.
This unit is not compulsory for any specific course. Depending on the course you study, this unit may be taken as an elective.