Arts for Children’s Enrichment
Arts for Children’s Enrichment
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Arts for Children’s Enrichment
Lesson Timeline:
10 min – survey
30 min – slides / discussion
70 min – activity
10 min – final survey / reflection / presentation
Arts for Children’s Enrichment
Image Copyrights
We sincerely thank Artlandish Aboriginal Art Gallery, one of the largest
Aboriginal art galleries in the world, for providing permission to share art
from their website in this presentation and curriculum. We sincerely
respect and honor the artists. Copyrights of the images remain with the
artist at all times. Please visit for inspiration, artist
profiles, artist videos, Aboriginal artefacts, and more!
Dots and Lines!
Explore the Aboriginal culture of the
land down under! Stories are told and
dreams are captured by Australia’s
Aborigines through their artwork.
Julie Yatjitja:
Line – Journey through Country [1]
In this unit, you will experiment with
different art mediums using dots and
lines to express your own thoughts.
Ju Ju Wilson / Kimberley Boab [2]
Dots and Lines!
Learn about Australian Aboriginal
culture and geography through art.
Julie Yatjitja:
Line – Journey through Country [1]
Experiment with various art mediums
to learn about
Elements of art: line and texture
Principles of design: repetition, pattern, rhythm,
and balance
Ju Ju Wilson / Kimberley Boab [2]
Dots and Lines!
Goals of the Unit
 Develop skills in art techniques
 Improve comfort in expressing self through art and
various materials
Julie Yatjitja:
Line – Journey through Country [1]
 Learn about Australian geography, history, culture,
and art
YouTube: Introduction to Aboriginal Art History (1:14 min)
Ju Ju Wilson / Kimberley Boab [2]
Dots and Lines!
4 Learning Activities
Lesson 1 – Introduction to Line
Julie Yatjitja:
Line – Journey through Country [1]
 Focus: geography, culturally stylistic features
 Felt pen on papyrus
 Imitate the styles of line work often found on bark
Lesson 2 – Tribute to an Artist
 Focus: Aboriginal artists’ styles and lifestyle
 Paint on wood
 Imitate an aboriginal artist’s style using your own
color palette
Ju Ju Wilson / Kimberley Boab [2]
Dots and Lines!
4 Learning Activities
Lesson 3 – Dreaming Mural
Julie Yatjitja:
Line – Journey through Country [1]
 Focus: personal expression, contribution to earth
 Paint on panels
 Use a specific style and color palette to make a
personal statement in a collective piece of art
Field Trip
Ju Ju Wilson / Kimberley Boab [2]
 Visit an art museum or gallery to experience
Aboriginal artwork
 Catalog the various styles exhibited
 Sketch a selected piece in pencil and add color at
home from your kitchen cupboards and fridge!
 Focus: using natural materials
Dots and Lines!
Guiding Cultural Connections Questions
 What do you know about Australian geography?
 What do you know about Australian history?
 What are some issues?
Julie Yatjitja:
Line – Journey through Country [1]
Ju Ju Wilson / Kimberley Boab [2]
Guiding Art Questions
 What are common stylistic features of Aboriginal
 How do artists demonstrate rhythm, unity, texture,
or balance in art?
 How do Aboriginal artists use dots and lines in their
Dots and Lines!
What do you know about
Australian Geography?
Dots and Lines!
What do you know about Australia?
In what hemisphere is Australia located?
Label your regional map now!
Please use next slide!
Dots and Lines!
What do you know about Australia?
On your map, fill in the 8 regions (ACT = Australian Capital Territory).
Dots and Lines!
What do you know about Australia?
Australian Capital Territory
When Australia became a federated nation in 1901, the Government of Australia
decided they needed a site to host the new National Capital.
Some land in New South Wales was put aside for this purpose and became known as
the Australian Capital Territory.
The nation's new capital would be called Canberra (an Aboriginal word for meeting
place) and an international competition was held to find the most appropriate design for
a forward-looking, city in the park -- won by Walter Burley Griffin.
Dots and Lines!
What do you know about Australia?
The commonwealth of Australia consists of the mainland of the Australian continent, the
island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands around the mainland.
Australia is the world’s largest island and smallest continent.
The Barrier Reef is the largest coral in the world.
The vast interior is called the Outback.
A large part of the continent is dry.
Dots and Lines!
What do you know about
Australian History?
Dots and Lines!
What do you know about Australian History?
Australia was sighted by Europeans in 1606 and in 1770, James Cook mapped the east
coast of Australia, named New South Wales and claimed the land for Great Britain. The
British Crown Colony of New South Wales was formed in 1788 and became a penal
colony (a place prisoners were sent). The last convict ship arrived in 1848 after a
campaign by settlers of New South Wales.
Cook’s Three Voyages
Dots and Lines!
The Australian mainland and Tasmania were inhabited by indigenous Australians for about
50,000 years before European settlement in the late 18th century.
The Indigenous Australians spoke around 250 different languages.
The Indigenous population estimated at 350,000 at the time of European settlement
declined steeply for 150 years following settlement due to infectious diseases.
The term “Stolen Generations” or “Stolen Children” is a term used to described Australian
Aboriginal children who were removed from their families by the Australian Federal and
State government and church missions between 1869-1969 and into the 1970s. Rationales
and reasoning behind their removal are highly contested. In 2008, Prime Minister Kevin
Rudd formally apologized to the Australian Aboriginal people.
Aboriginal Peoples create art as a way to reclaim their loss and share their histories with
future generations.
In the past, Native American children in Washington have also been removed from
their families to be put in boarding schools. Turn to a neighbor and discuss how you
might feel if the country you lived in forced you to be separated from your parents
based on your ethnicity?
Dots and Lines!
In 1971, Geoffrey Bardon, a school teacher, encouraged children to paint a mural using
traditional art styles. Traditionally, body painting art styles were used for spiritual purposes.
Many symbols depicted creation dreaming stories.
When some of the elder men saw what the children were doing, they felt they were more suited
to tell the stories and started painting a famous mural called Honey Ant Dreaming. The Politics
of the Secret (1995) is an account written by Dick Kimber of the “angry uproar” from senior
Pitjantjatjara men who felt that the sale and display of some Aboriginal art was a serious
Papunya Tula is an artist group formed in 1972. This Western Desert Art Movement is known for
“dot painting”. It is based in Alice Springs and represents Aboriginal art in Central Australia.
Different regions have different styles.
Complex dotting and over-dotting styles which have developed since the 1970’s are a means to
hide the sacred stories in the paintings. For accurate translations, the stories are revealed by
the artist to only the “insiders”.
Dots and Lines!
A Dreamtime Story
about the Pleiades star cluster known as the Seven Sisters
A Dreaming is a creation story owned by different tribes and their members. Painted
ceremonial dreamings are passed on by gender – a daughter, by tribal law, is not
allowed to see male tribal ceremonies so they paint different stories passed down
through their maternal line.
Wendy Nungarrayi Brown
Seven Sisters Dreaming
Dots and Lines!
Let’s look at what we’re
looking at!
Please turn to your
Vocabulary Page.
Follow along with me as I explain
some key vocabulary that will help
you name and notice some aspects
of line, repetition, and unity.
Radial Unity
Karen Napaljarri Barnes: Women’s Dreaming
Dots and Lines!
Central Art - Aboriginal Art Gallery
As you browse through 8-10 of these fabulous pieces, use your vocabulary
sheet to name the line types you are seeing and the repetition rhythms you
notice. Do you see pieces which exemplify unity (balance, symmetrical,
asymmetrical, radial)?
Dots and Lines!
Now please turn to your
Symbols Exercise Page
Use the next 4 slides to label the symbols often used in Aboriginal Art
Symbols, Icons, and Imagery
Campfire or waterhole
Symbols, Icons, and Imagery
Travelling, circles are resting
places or campsites
Women and children:
Symbols, Icons, and Imagery
meeting place
Symbols, Icons, and Imagery
Women around campfire
with digging stick
to goanna
Entrance to goanna
burrow in spinifex
Dots and Lines!
Art and the Artists!
As you prepare to make your own piece of Aboriginal art,
think about the style you would like to experiment with:
outlining with white dots, geometric shapes, flowing lines,
intricate details, aerial maps?
What story or secret will your art be about?
This video will help you think about process
Yindi Artz, paints a commissioned piece called “Family”. (5:42 min)
Dots and Lines!
Did you know?
In 2007, a single painting by Papunya Tula artist, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjari was sold for $2.4
In 2007, a Senate inquiry report recommended increased funding for the Australian Competition
and Consumer Commission to monitor the exploitation of Indigenous artists. “Carpetbaggers”,
including commercial gallery owners, dealers, and private agents purchase Indigenous art at a
fraction of the cost and then sell the art on the internet at exorbitant prices.
As you look at the following pieces,
can you share what makes them “good”?
Dots and Lines!
Examples: Line, repetition, texture
Greeny Purvis Petyarre: Yam Dreaming
Dots and Lines!
Examples: Line, flowing rhythms
Rusty Peters
Dots and Lines!
Examples: Line repetition, texture
Charlene Carrington / Kungame Kungame
Jack Mosquito / Marella
Dots and Lines!
Examples: Line, repetition, repeating shapes
Minni Pwerle: Bush Melons & Roundels
Dots and Lines!
Examples: Line repetition, texture
Minni Pwerle: Bush Melons & Roundels
Reanne Nampijinpa Brown: Water Dreaming
Dots and Lines!
Examples: Repetition, pattern, flowing rhrythm
Naata Nungurray: Women’s Ceremony. Priced at $75,000
Naata is one of Australia’s leading artists. One of her works was sold for $216,000 in a Sotheby’s Auction in 2007.
Dots and Lines!
Examples: Line repetition, texture, rhythm
Naata Nungurray: Women’s Ceremony
Dots and Lines!
Examples: Line, repetition
Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi: Father’s Dreaming (Narripi)
Dots and Lines!
Ju Ju Wilson: Waterholes
Dots and Lines!
YouTube Clips
Slideshow of Aboriginal Art by award winning Wiradjuri artist De Greer
Yindimincarlie. Accompanied with Aboriginal music (1:20 min)
Janet Nakamarra, Aboriginal Artist from the Central Desert of Australia talks
about her art (49 sec)
Dots and Lines!
Art materials
 Ochre was the most important painting material. It is
a crumbly to hard rock heavily colored by iron oxide.
It is pale yellow to dark reddish-brown.
 Red ochre symbolizes the blood of ancestral beings.
 Paints are made by grinding the rock into power then
mixing it with a blinder (glue), such as spinifex gum,
saliva, kangaroo blood, or more commonly now, an
acrylic binder.
 Think about what you have in your kitchen that could
be used for color in art pieces.
Arts for Children’s Enrichment
Time to make art!
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when you’re done!
Thank you!

Australian Aboriginal Art - College of Arts and Sciences