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Arts and Human Spirit in Australia - Essay Example

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Arts and Human Spirit in Australia

When referring to Indigenous Australians, the term incorporates various communities and societies which include local communities with unique cultures. "Indigenous peoples are the First Peoples of the land and they believe they have inherent right to their lands, customs and beliefs. These rights are perceived as different from those of intruders granted citizenship within a multicultural immigrant society." (Irwin et al, 1999, P.49). Several researches with regard to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and material culture focused on how art has been regarded a central activity relating to the lives of the people there. Expanding the level of research in the art of the indigenous people of Australia illustrates the essential relation between arts and human spirit. In such a research on the works by traditional Indigenous Australian artists, it becomes evident that the culture and life of the people is much linked to the art of the land. Understanding what and who one is, where one is from etc or about one's culture, art, and background etc has great value in the perspective of the aboriginal or indigenous study. Thus, this paper deals with Arts and human spirit specifically laying focus on Australian aboriginal arts and the role it plays in life for people and tries to expand the level of research in regard to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and material culture.
The Art and Culture of the Aboriginals: the Background
The definition of the 'Aboriginal' in the background of the Australia by the migrant community often relates indigenous peoples of the homeland with the European settlers thus, it can be seen that in Australia, "... during the initial contact period there was no difficulty in determining who was an "Aborigine". Aborigines were black, uncivilized, and pagan. This meant they were not British subjects and, hence, were excluded from all citizenship rights. (Armitage, 1995, P.22). In the background of the relation between art and culture, it is important to realize that the most important and dominant critical and institutional mode of framing Aboriginal art may be perceived as a skylight on to Aboriginal culture. There is greater meaning beyond this understanding of the aboriginal art which are sometimes presented as artistic genres modeled on the history of Western art. Consequently, the contemporary Aboriginal art relates to the Aboriginal culture as well as leads to 'contemporary', 'traditional', 'urban', 'political, 'women's' or 'postcolonial' Aboriginality. The type of framing of the Aboriginal art has great validity to the understanding of the art and culture of the people as they feel "this place is ours; the art belongs to our national tradition; and it delivers insights about Aboriginal culture that we should appreciate and celebrate as valued assets of our common heritage as Australians. It is completely unsettled by unresolved questions of sovereignty and histories and present practices of state sanctioned violence against Indigenous Australians." (Nicoll et al, 2006, P.2). It is relatable that the Australian Indigenous art has been recognized as the oldest ongoing tradition of art in the world. The original forms of artistic Aboriginal expression included rock carvings, body painting and ground ...Show more


Arts and human spirit are interrelated through the history of human beings and an analysis of the Australian aboriginal history specifically laying focus on Australian aboriginal arts and the role it plays in the life of the people will bring out the essential relation between art and human spirit…
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Arts and Human Spirit in Australia essay example
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