VAKT: Create a boomerang decorated with dot art. Equipment:
∙ Dot art pens (or Q-tips and acrylic paints)
∙ Stencil of a boomerang shape (attached at the end of the lesson)
∙ Scissors to cut out the boomerang shape.
ABORIGINAL Art can be understood as the paintings, carvings, and ENGRAVINGS DEPICTING (showing, illustrating) nature, created by Aboriginal people, who are the indigenous or FIRST NATIONS PEOPLES of AUSTRALIA. These people are a vast community of many different and distinct language groups who have lived in Australia for over 60,000 years and are the oldest living CULTURE in the world. Something all Aboriginal groups have in common is their strong relationship to the natural LANDSCAPE ꟷ deserts, rocks and caves, coastlines and beaches, water sources, valleys, and grasslands
Spell: ART COMMUNITY CUSTOMS
What kind of Art are we talking about today? ABORIGINAL
Name one kind of Art that Aboriginal people do. PAINTINGS, CARVINGS, ENGRAVINGS
Depicting means illustrating or _________. SHOWING
-OR- Tell me one word from the text that means depicting. SHOWING, ILLUSTRATING.
Aboriginal Art depicts (or shows) __________. NATURE
Aboriginal people are the ________ ________ peoples of Australia. FIRST NATIONS
How long have Aboriginal people lived in Australia? OVER 60,000 YEARS
The First Nations Peoples of Australia are the oldest living _________ in the world. CULTURE
Name two kinds of natural landscape features referenced in Aboriginal Art. DESERTS, ROCKS, CAVES, COASTLINES, BEACHES, WATER SOURCES, VALLEYS, GRASSLANDS
Aboriginal Art depicts the CULTURAL PRACTICES, myths, and TRADITIONAL stories they call the DREAMING, which includes all those natural features of the landscape we mentioned. Sometimes these features are INDICATED through SYMBOLS. These are a few of the SYMBOLIC meanings behind the natural desert colors found in traditional Aboriginal Art: white is the spirit color; black is the color of night and represents the Aboriginal people; red is the color of the land or of blood; yellow is the color of the sun and sacred.
Spell: CAVES LANDSCAPE TRADITIONAL
Aboriginal people’s cultural practices, myths, and traditional stories are called the _________. DREAMING
The natural landscape features are sometimes indicated through ____________. SYMBOLS
The color yellow in Aboriginal Art symbolizes the__________. SUN
What is the spirit color in Aboriginal Art? WHITE
Name one thing represented by the color red. LAND, BLOOD
Name one thing represented by the color black. ABORIGINAL PEOPLE, NIGHT
Look at the Aboriginal Flag: How many symbolic colors can you see there?
Look at the Aboriginal Flag: What do you think the yellow circle represents? THE SUN
What colors are the American/Australian Flag? RED, WHITE, and BLUE
As well as using colors as symbols, Aboriginal artists use PICTOGRAPHIC symbols to depict natural objects or living beings. Because Australia’s first nations peoples have no WRITTEN form of their LANGUAGES, they have relied on signs, symbols, and Art to relay messages and pass on knowledge through the GENERATIONS (all of the people born and living at around the same time). A circle, for example, could SYMBOLISE/SYMBOLIZE a campfire, digging a hole or water hole, and the BOOMERANG – a symbol as old as CREATION – represents the enduring strength of Aboriginal culture.
SPELL: CIRCLE GENERATION DIGGING
Aboriginal artists also use ______________symbols to depict natural objects and living beings. PICTOGRAPHIC
Australia’s first nation peoples have no _________ form of their languages. WRITTEN
Aboriginal people have used signs, symbols, and Art to relay messages and ___________. PASS ON KNOWLEDGE
Name one thing a circle can symbolize in Aboriginal Art. CAMPFIRE, DIGGING HOLE, WATER HOLE.
The enduring strength of the Aboriginal people is represented by the _____________. BOOMERANG
Can you tell me something else you might know about boomerangs? THEY COME BACK / RETURN TO THE THROWER; THEY ARE USED TO HUNT ANIMALS; THEY ARE A COMMON SOUVENIR
Look at the Aboriginal Symbols picture: Can you tell me how many symbols are there? 48
Look at the Aboriginal Symbols picture: There are eight items/columns across the page and six items/rows down the page. Can you make an equation that will tell us how many items are in the picture altogether? 8 x 6 = 48
Traditional Aboriginal Art is also ENTWINED (linked) with nature through its use of natural materials such as CHARCOAL, bark from trees, and soft rocks and clay to create artworks. OCHRE, a soft rock that contains clay, was one of the first PIGMENTS (natural coloring) to be used by humankind. It was ground up into a fine red-, brown- or yellow-colored powder and mixed with water to create one of the world’s first paints. The reddish color of the ochre comes from IRON OXIDE in the sand and soil. Ochre is very common in the Australian OUTBACK or bush – a hot landscape with red soil and rocks.
SPELL: PAINT PIGMENTS HUMANKIND
What is the word from the text that means linked? ENTWINED -OR- What does entwined mean? LINKED
Name one natural material Aboriginal artists use to create their artworks. CHARCOAL, BARK, SOFT ROCKS, OCHRE, CLAY
What color is charcoal? BLACK
The pigment is defined in the text as __________. NATURAL COLOURING /COLORING
The color of ochre comes from _________ ________ in the sand and soil. IRON OXIDE
Name one color that ochre powder is. RED, BROWN, YELLOW
Ochre is very common in the __________ _________ AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK, BUSH
Can you name a place in the Australian outback? Alice Springs, Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kakadu National Park, Katherine Gorge, Kings Canyon, Northern Territory, Arnhem Land.
The main kinds of Aboriginal Art are rock art, tree bark painting, sand painting, and dot painting. Rock art includes painting and engraving (or carving). It can be found at SITES throughout AUSTRALIA but is difficult to DATE. The oldest dated rock art painting in Australia is a charcoal image drawn 28,000 years ago. It can be seen in a rock shelter in southwestern ARNHEM (ah-nem) LAND in the NORTHERN TERRITORY. Some rock art shows EXTINCT (no longer in existence) animals. Other paintings show the arrival of BRITISH ships in Australia, which occurred in 1788.
SPELL: SHELTER AUSTRALIA IMAGE Another word for engraving is _________. CARVING
What, in other words, for sites? PLACES
Rock art is difficult to ________. DATE
The oldest dated rock art painting was drawn _________years ago. 28,000
Where can the oldest rock art painting be seen? ARNHEM LAND / NORTHERN TERRITORY
What kind of animals do some rock art pictures show? EXTINCT
Can you tell me the name of an animal that is extinct? DINOSAUR, DODO, BLACK RHINOCEROUS, WHITE DOLPHIN, TASMANIAN TIGER, WOOLLY MAMMOTH, etc.
Other rock art paintings show __________. THE ARRIVAL OF BRITISH SHIPS IN AUSTRALIA
-OR- Other rock art paintings show the arrival of _________ _________in Australia. BRITISH SHIPS
Which country would you expect British ships to come from? GREAT BRITAIN / ENGLAND / BRITAIN
How long ago did British ships arrive in Australia? 2022 – 1788 = 234 YEARS AGO.
The tree BARK paintings of Arnhem Land were responsible for shaping many people’s visual experience of Aboriginal Art prior to 1970. Coastal Arnhem Land had a PLENTIFUL supply of STRINGYBARK trees, and in the right season, large sheets of bark could be cut from the tree trunks and then CURED (dried) and FLATTENED over a fire. Once they were scraped back, the inner SURFACE of the bark made a beautiful surface for the artists to paint on with the natural ochre pigments.
SPELL: VISUAL SEASON COASTAL
What kind of Aboriginal Art are we talking about in this section? (TREE) BARK PAINTINGS
Tree bark painting shaped many people’s experience of Aboriginal Art prior to what year? 1970
1970 was how many years ago? 2022 – 1970 = 52; or in a sentence: 1970 WAS 52 YEARS AGO.
What kind of trees does the bark for the bark paintings come from? STRINGYBARK
Coastal Arnhem Land had a _________ supply of Stringybark trees. PLENTIFUL
Can you name one thing done to the bark to prepare it to paint on? CURED, DRIED, FLATTENED, SCRAPED (BACK)
Do you know of another thing that can be made from bark? CANOE, MULCH, CLOTH, ROPES, MAPS, SPICES, MEDICINES
What different types of material have you painted on? What was the most unusual? What was the experience like? What did you paint?
Before Aboriginal Art was ever put onto canvas, the Aboriginal people drew images and SACRED (worthy of respect; dedicated to some religious purpose) designs in the sand or soil. These sand paintings or ground SCULPTURES, which are created in SECRET, consist of CONCENTRIC CIRCLES (circles within circles that share a common center), which are used to provide the means for ANCESTRAL POWER to the surface and also to return to the ground. The ALTERNATELY (continually one after the other) colored red and white concentric circles mark the exact spot in the desert where the Great Ancestor spirit energy is believed to have first EMANATED (come out) from the ground.
SPELL: CANVAS SPIRIT MESSAGES
What word from the text means worthy or respectful or dedicated to some religious purpose? SACRED
Sand paintings are also known as _______ _______. GROUND SCULPTURES
Sand paintings are created in _________. SECRET
What do sand paintings consist of? CONCENTRIC CIRCLES
Can you point to the concentric circles in the picture below?
Can you think of something else that consists of concentric circles? A DART BOARD, THE AGE RINGS ON A TREE STUMP, THE TRACKS ON A VINYL RECORD OR COMPACT DISC, etc
Sand paintings provide the means for _________ _________ to surface. ANCESTRAL POWER
What words from the text have the meaning of emanated? COME OUT FROM
What word from the text means continually, one after the other? ALTERNATELY
Sand painting is an INITIATION CEREMONY (a special ceremony that signals someone’s acceptance into the group) of great POWER, in which an ELDER, or SHAMAN, initiates the others into the PRIMAL MYSTERIES of Aboriginal life. In the past, UNINITIATED people, for example, WESTERNERS, never got to see these sacred designs since the sand or soil would be smoothed over again, leaving no trace of the messages the sand paintings had contained.
SPELL: SAND SIGNALS TRACE
What special ceremony signals someone’s acceptance into the group? INITIATION
Sand painting is an initiation ceremony of great _________. POWER
Who conducts the initiation ceremony? AN ELDER / A SHAMAN
Who never got to see the sacred designs of the sand paintings? UNINITIATED PEOPLE, WESTERNERS
What happens to the sand paintings after the initiation ceremony? THEY ARE SMOOTHED OVER.
Have you ever drawn something or created a sculpture in the sand? Where were you? What was the occasion, and what did you draw/sculpt?
DOT painting originated in 1971 in PAPUNYA (pa-‘poon-yah), near ALICE SPRINGS, as a way of permanently recording the sacred designs and stories of the sand paintings. GEOFFREY BARDON, an art teacher assigned to the primary (elementary) school in Papunya, is credited with ENCOURAGING the Aboriginal elders of Papunya to record their sand painting stories PERMANENTLY (in a way that continues without changing or ending) by painting them onto CANVAS, board, and even the school walls as a way of PRESERVING (protect; maintain) the culture for future generations.
SPELL: TEACHER DESIGN FUTURE
What kind of Art are we talking about in this paragraph? DOT PAINTING
When did dot painting originate? 1971
Where did dot painting originate? PAPUNYA / NEAR ALICE SPRINGS
Who encouraged the Aboriginal elders of Papunya to paint their sand painting stories? GEOFFREY BARDON
Where did Geoffrey Bardon work? AT THE PRIMARY/ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN PAPUNYA; IN PAPUNYA; NEAR ALICE SPRINGS
What word from the text means ‘in a way that continues without changing or ending’? PERMANENTLY
Name two things the Aboriginal elders painted their sand painting stories onto. CANVAS, BOARD, THE SCHOOL WALLS
What do we call Art today that is painted on walls in public places? PUBLIC ART, MURALS, GRAFFITI.
Why did Geoffrey Bardon encourage the Aboriginal elders to record their sand art stories permanently in this way? AS A WAY OF PRESERVING THE CULTURE FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS, TO HELP THEM PRESERVE THEIR CULTURE.
What do you think of public Art? Can you tell me about a time when you saw a piece of public Art that captured your attention? Where was it, and what did the artwork depict?
However, the Aboriginal elders did not want the uninitiated people to understand or learn the sacred RESTRICTED (not allowed to be seen by all) parts of their stories, so they began to IN-FILL their designs with dots, to DISGUISE the designs so the real meanings could not be understood by Westerners. Originally dots in dot art paintings were restricted to VARIATIONS of the colors red, yellow, black, and white produced from ochre, charcoal, and pipe clay. Later ACRYLIC mediums were introduced, allowing for more VIVID, colorful paintings.
SPELL: DOTS LEARN STORIES
What word from the text means not allowed to be seen by all? RESTRICTED
The Aboriginal elders used dots to __________ their designs for the real meanings could not be understood by Westerners. DISGUISE
What is another word that means disguise? HIDE, MASK, CONCEAL
What were the original colors of dot paintings? VARIATIONS OF RED, YELLOW, BLACK, AND WHITE
What do you think the word acrylic in the text refers to? PAINT, A KIND OF PAINT, SYNTHETIC RESIN/FIBRE
What does vivid mean? BRIGHT AND DISTINCT, INTENSELY BRIGHT, BRILLIANT
Today the defining CRITERION for a dot painting is the TECHNIQUE used ꟷ that it is produced by REPEATED IMPRINTS of a paint-covered brush, dotting stick, or other implement onto the surface of the painting and that in doing so, there are recognizable dot marks on the canvas. The paint used may be highly TEXTURED with a very raised surface or flat. Perhaps the most PROFICIENT (competent or skilled) dot work is done by using well-mixed acrylic paint with a high level of VISCOSITY (thickness/cohesiveness). When this dries, it forms a raised profile. From the side, this makes a curved shape on the canvas – a bit like the curved side of an egg but much, much smaller.
SPELL: BRUSH PROFILE CURVED
The defining criterion for a dot painting is the _____________ used. TECHNIQUE
Name one thing the dots of a dot painting can be made with. A PAINT-COVERED BRUSH, DOTTING STICK, OR OTHER IMPLEMENT
Highly textured paint produces a very _________ surface. RAISED
What word in the text means competent or skilled? PROFICIENT
What is another word for viscosity? THICKNESS, COHESIVENESS
The raised profile of a dot is like the curved side of ________. AN EGG
Look at the picture above of an Aboriginal person doing dot art. Do you think it is a traditional dot painting or a more contemporary (recent) dot painting? Why?
VAKT: Create the boomerang above using dot art pens or Q-tips and acrylic paint. On the next page is a stencil that you can dot paint, and then cut out.
1. Imagine you have a friend who is a First Nations / Aboriginal artist living in Arnhem Land or Papunya in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Write me a letter describing your friend and how they came to be an artist; what personal qualities and artistic skills they have; what kind of Art they do; and what materials they use. One or more of the video links below might give you inspiration for your writing.
2. (For a younger speller). You are starting your own art movement. What colors would you start your movement with?