You are forgiven to believe that that is “Aboriginal art”.Art dealer Michael Reid says even many of the pieces in commercial art galleries are poor because time has not yet filtered out the bad ones .
But there’s so much more: works on racism by Gordon Bennett, tutini from the Tiwi Islands, the created worlds of Tracey Moffatt’s photographs.
Rarrk is a form of cross-hatching where artists overlay lines of different colours.
It was originally done on the bodies of initiates, and when people died.
Different types of rarrk were specific to certain clans.
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Curator and consultant Wally Caruana, who for 20 years worked at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra, says the only way to start learning about Aboriginal art is to look at as many works as possible in museums and good galleries.The last words are most important because so much of what we see is bad.Aboriginal art is everywhere: at airports, in kitsch shops, on the walls of your doctor’s waiting room.“You can actually identify an artist to a particular clan just by looking at the cross-hatching,” says senior curator of Aboriginal art, Franchesca Cubillo .Ancestors are usually hidden beneath the layers of rarrk, revealed fully only to certain initiated people.Many people believe Aboriginal art has to be old because Aboriginal culture is old.