ART223 Australian Aboriginal Art (8)


Covering a range of styles, genres and mediums that include sculpture, this introductory subject explores the rich visual culture of Indigenous Australians in context of the many unique and divergent Indigenous nations and these nations’ association with country and land. Special attention is paid to the complex relations that exist between artworks and the art world and the recent history of Indigenous art in Australia, from Namatjira, acrylic and bark painting, through to works in new media. Questions concerning commercial arrangements, copyright and valuing are balanced with an exploration of the content of works and the significance of art from an Indigenous Australian perspective.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 2
OnlineWagga Wagga Campus
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: ART223
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
One sessionHD/FLSchool of Communication and Creative Industries

Enrolment restrictions

Incompatible subject(s)

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

-       be able to identify works as belonging to specific Indigenous nations and language groups and their styles and historical periods

-       be able to contextualise artworks in the context of wider historical events that have affected and continue to affect indigenous Australians, and the specific theoretical debates and political issues that emerged from these times and their current validity

-       be able to demonstrate an understanding of the importance of protocols and copyright, as well as the cultural and commercial value in relation to Indigenous art and to be able to apply this knowledge in discussion and assessable work


The subject will cover the following topics:
  • the artwork, range of styles from different Indigenous nations and the relationship of art and the artists to the land
  • the forms referred to in the scholarly literature as ‘traditional’ and ’urban’ and a critique of this literature, and an introduction to a range of Indigenous artists
  • the context of production of artworks, the significance of art for artists and their communities, and ideas about production
  • questions about the consumption of artworks, commercial arrangements, and copyright
  • the larger-scale political and social context, and considerations of art vs ethnography
  • the range of mediums (including photography, sculpture, and new media) and the challenges they bring


The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 23 February 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.