European Stone Art

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Sydney's Aboriginal art and culture

The rock paintings and engravings of the Sydney reflects the artistic tendencies of the Aboriginal population before the Europeans arrived to settle in this historic city. Rock engravings and paintings show the close relationship the Aborigines had with the sea. The engravings and paintings, mostly about the creatures related to sea such as whales and sharks and other fish. Gwion Gwion is a form of rock paintings seen in caves, believed to belong to a culture that existed long before the Aboriginal culture as it is known today.

In addition to the rock painting, engraving, carving and sculpture, also includes indigenous art painting on leaves, carving on wood, sand painting and art in the cloths. Body painting is an indigenous art that covers the body with intricate, exquisite patterns. The same species is seen in varied form in the bark painting. The paintings were traditionally performed on the bark walls and ceiling.
Stone arrangements of large and small stones embedded in the earth is unique to Australian Aboriginal art and weaving, jewelry and handicrafts made of different types of fiber.

Other forms of art such as dance and song was intertwined with the daily routines of Aboriginal life. The Aboriginal people sang as they performed their daily chores. Aboriginal fishing women sang all day paddling in rhythm with the music.

Bush operas which were traditionally called corroborees was carried out by Benn Long Point where the Sydney Opera House place today. Operas were usually stories woven around themes such as hunting and fishing and sometimes fairy-tale theme of human relationships. It's Aboriginal Art Centres in The Rocks area and at the Sydney Opera House. The Sydney Opera House is also a venue for the Sydney Festival which brings together art from different parts of the world, both modern and classical.

Traditional Aboriginal Art faded out since the European invasion. But in modern times, it has been done to protect and preserve various forms of Aboriginal art. Although there has been a lot of developments in the methods create and present the various arts, the indigenous element is preserved. Moreover, new art forms have been developed from Aboriginal art without losing its cultural essence. Traditional arts and objects used to be made with organic fabrics and materials, but the artists of today is to create traditional art using modern synthetic materials preserve the cultural flavor.

Indigenous art and culture of Australia, as for anything else, give a good insight into the history, relationship and lifestyle of Aboriginal people. They throw light on their social and religious life, their politics and economics, and the environment they lived in.

Sydney today celebrates Aboriginal art and culture through several events and festivals. Today more and more non-Aboriginal people take interest and contribute their efforts to preserve this tradition is one of the oldest in the world!


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About the Author

Suzie W. has written several academic, marketing and research articles on topics related to social sciences, tourism, management, health and advertising. The author has worked as copy writer and editor in various advertising and publishing firms. The author presently specialises in writing articles relating to tourism and travel.


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