Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Obsession: Aboriginal Art

I've been reading Ish & Chi for a while now, and while I do enjoy seeing the outfits Viv puts together for her "Friday Fashion" posts, I'm far more intrigued by the large painting in the background.

Eventually, through her home decorating posts, I've discovered that it's one of three pieces of "Aboriginal art" that she has collected. Here are the other two:

I'm embarrassed to say that I had never before heard of (or more accurately, paid attention to) aboriginal art. But I was immediately taken with the color, texture and textile quality that each of her paintings - while different in technique and style - seem to share.

THEN, I read on Made by Girl, that inspired by Viv, Jen purchased a couple of aboriginal pieces for her own home.

Following the artist links that each blogger offered, I discovered the Aboriginal Art Coop site and spent an entire morning semi-ignoring my family while I poured over the galleries.

I grabbed image after image, planning to write SOME kind of post about them. Once I scanned through every painting (I'm not kidding - ALL 503 artists), I had to make some serious cuts. And even after eliminating about 2/3 of the images, I still have TWENTY FIVE in my picture file. I can't cut any more. They're too lovely. So here are some of my personal favorites (artist name below each):

Abie Loy Kemarre

Barbara Weir

Caroline Numina Pananka (above two)

Dolly Mills Petyarre

Evelyn Pultara (above two)

Gloria Petyarre

Jeanie Mills Pwerle

Jeannie Petyarre (above two)

Julianne Turner Nungarrayi

June Smith Pengarte

Kudditji Kngwarreye

Lena Pwerle

Lorna Fencer Napurrula

Lucky Morton Kngwarreye (above two)

Lulu Teece Petyarre

Makinti Napanangka

Mitjili Napurrula

Rosie Goodjie

Sally Gabori

Sarrita King (above two)

Aboriginal art (also known as Indigenous Australian art), is based upon traditional culture and is made by indigenous Australians. The mediums used are far more extensive than the paintings I featured above: painting on leaves, wood carving, rock carving, sculpture, ceremonial clothing, etc. But it's the paintings that really speak to me.

As much as I can appreciate all art from an objective standpoint, I tend to really "love" the pretty stuff. And this is some PRETTY stuff. It would look fabulous with most interior decor styles as well (so you don't have to feel guilty about matching your art to your house). AND depending on the artist, the prices can be very affordable.

Art brings life to a room. If you are in the market for some new wall decor, don't dismiss fine art as too expensive. Even if you have to spend a bit more than you would for those prints at Pottery Barn, original art is an investment worth making. And it seems that Aboriginal art can be an attainable investment at that!

Do you have any affordable fine art tips or secret resources? We'd love to know!


  1. My jaw dropped open as I scrolled down the page. It's all new to me too and I LOVE it. So glad you featured this - and I can totally imagine ignoring my family to peruse all the links now!

    We've bought some art from Gallery Art Direct online, and from a local art store. Not in a while though - pre-kids. The next art purchase on my radar is a painting or print by that wonderful painter you recently featured here...

  2. Yes the Australian Aboriginal Art is very beautiful.I live in the United States now but grew up in Australia.I am half Aboriginal and paint contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art.I dont have a web site yet,but if you google my name you can see a few pieces of my work,My name is Carmel Middletent.I wish you much success in your home decor business.Reguards, Carmel.

  3. Dear Stylke Key West web-manager
    Would you please be kind enough to help me forward the email below on to Carmel, who it seems, wrote to you previously.

    Thank you so much...

    Hello to Carmel Middletent:
    My friend has a copy of the calander you were seeking, and I will happily find out where to source you a copy. I quoted this page at the Jewish Holocaust Centre function in Melbourne on December 6th last, when we launched Barbara Miller's book on William Cooper.

    Carmel, I am intruiged by your stated shared heritage, and am part-way through writing a book which includes some amazing similarities between Jewish and Aboriginal spirituality and traditions, and have incorporated some pen-portraits - perhaps we could discuss your inclusion also??

    Please be in contact via

    Thank you


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