Aboriginal Painting – insider tips!

by Bianca Gregson

Thinking about buying some art? Look no further than our own backyard..

Let me talk you through it..

There are still many who think of the traditional ‘dotted’ bark paintings when it comes to Australian Aboriginal art. Although these are still around and appreciated by art lovers everywhere, Aboriginal art has evolved to become sooo much more than what it’s typically known for.

Modern Aboriginal paintings depict traditional stories with the use of contemporary techniques. They’re drawn from regions right across Australia, including the Utopia, East Arnhem Land and the Eastern and Western Desert areas.

Now having worked in an Aboriginal art gallery, I’ve naturally gained knowledge and experience, and deeper appreciation for aboriginal paintings. They’re unique, visually phenomenal and spiritual. Home grown is trendy!


If you do decide to buy a piece of Aboriginal art, there are a few things you should look for to ensure you’re getting an authentic piece of work.

  • If possible, preview other paintings by that particular artist to ensure there are similarities and correlations in their technique, subject matter, and that their stories are consistent
  • Make sure you go to a reputable gallery or art centre.


Although you can buy authentic aboriginal work ‘off the street’ (and there’s nothing wrong with that if you see something you like) if you’re investing big money then you should purchase your aboriginal art from a gallery.

When buying at the gallery, ask these questions:

  • Where do you source your work from?
  • How much money does the artist get paid?
  • Can I have a letter of authenticity?
  • Can I have a valuation?
  • Are there any photos of the artist painting the work?
  • Is the artists name on the back?


So if I’ve managed to convince you to purchase Aboriginal art, I’ll go the extra step and tell you exactly where to go!

If you’re in Sydney, I recommend the Kate Owen gallery in Rozelle for an extensive range of aboriginal art.

Now for the fun part – my personal favorites!!

"My Country" Kudditi Kngwarreye

“My Country” Kudditi Kngwarreye

An Anmatyerre Elder and custodian of many important Dreaming stories, Kudditji Kngwarreye has a deserved reputation as an innovator and as a consummate colourist.

His paintings reflect a style that he’s worked on since 2003, and depicts soft and mesmerizing landscapes of his country. I love his unmistakable romantic style with beautiful brushstrokes and unique colour use.

“Lightning” Sarrita King

“Lightning” Sarrita King

The King sisters are the daughters to the late, highly regarded artist, William King Jungala (1966 – 2007). They’ve inherited their Australian Aboriginality from him, and from the Gurindji tribe in the Northern Territory, where he was from.

Sarrita and Tarisse King grew up in Darwin in the Northern Territory, where their connections to Aboriginality and the land were nurtured.

As artists, they provide a personal visual articulation of the earth’s language, and visually communicate their ties to the land. Both sisters work are contemporary, bold, and fresh.

“Uwalki Watia Tjutan and Irantji Dreaming” Mitjili Napurrula

“Uwalki Watia Tjutan and Irantji Dreaming”
Mitjili Napurrula

Mitjili began painting in the early 1990s and has developed her own highly recognisable style.

Her works depict Watiya Tjuta, the trees that provide the wood used to create ceremonial items. After seeing photographs of Mitjili’s painting I knew I had to purchase one of her works. I love her unique story telling ability and the simplicity of her artwork design. She is truly one of my favorite artists!

Mitjili’s work has been exhibited throughout Australia and overseas, and held in many notable and reputable public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Australia.

“Body paint and bush Melon seed” Minnie Pwerle

“Body paint and bush Melon seed” Minnie Pwerle

Quite astonishingly it was not until Minnie was 80 years old that she began painting on canvas! Her first series of works were painted at the Utopia Communities workshops. They were linear paintings, expressing a bold, free-flowing style that drew interest from not only myself, but art lovers all over the world!

At the risk of sounding like the true professional art sales lady I am, these works speak for themselves. They’re contemporary yet traditional, stylish, and captivate imagination. These tips I’ve given you will help you find an art piece that will stand the test of time and illuminate any environment.



18 November 2014 Culture Club, Photography & Art

Author: Bianca Gregson

I’m a down to earth girl who’s totally obsessed with art, event planning, flowers, wine and my cat Buddy.   Born and raised in Sydney to a family of athletes, I too was once fixated on competing in track and field.  As I’ve grown older my creative streak has taken over and my interests have slightly shifted. I studied visual arts at university and soon after graduating, begun work in one of Sydney’s most renowned art galleries.   I’m thrilled to be able to share my love for art. I’m specifically fond of Australian artists, Aboriginal art, Abstract Expressionism and anything influenced by popular culture.