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Art After Hours at AGNSW, Corroboree Sydney
Art After Hours at AGNSW, Corroboree Sydney

Aboriginal art in Sydney

  • Koomurri Aboriginal Centre, Blue Mountains
  • Art After Hours at AGNSW, Corroboree Sydney


Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural Centre

At Penrith's Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural Centre you'll have the rare opportunity to learn the art of boomerang throwing in a bush setting while discovering the difference between hunting, returning and fighting boomerangs. You'll also hear the didgeridoo or yidaki being played with sounds that are thousands of years old.

Must Do

Aboriginal art in Sydney

Aboriginal artwork, Mutawintji National Park

Australian Aboriginal art has been described as one of the most exciting contemporary art forms of the 20th century, collected around the world by art galleries, museums and art lovers.

Some of the oldest forms of Indigenous art are engravings and paintings in rock shelters, in caves and on bark. Today, styles range from contemporary paintings to sculptures made from desert grasses, wool and string, fine art prints, glassware, hand-printed fabrics and jewellery. In the 1970s, Indigenous artists began to gain international recognition. One for the first groups of Indigenous painters to become famous was the Australian Western Desert artists of Papunya Tula. They were given acrylic paints and canvas in 1971.

There are plenty of opportunities to see Aboriginal art in its many forms in Sydney galleries and museums. The Art Gallery of New South Wales has one of the largest collections of Aboriginal art in Australia, including traditional bark paintings, contemporary art and photography. On the way in to the Museum of Sydney, pass through the Edge of the Trees sculpture which sits out the front of the museum, and hear Aboriginal voices call out their clan and place names, and discover embedded shells, fish bones, and ochre. Inside, artefacts, paintings, film and soundscapes evoke contemporary Aboriginal perspectives on Sydney's past.

Sydney has some fantastic galleries specialising in and selling Aboriginal Art. Check out The Gallery Shop, which has locations in Potts Point and Bronte, where you can purchase works from emerging indigenous artists. With a collection that is both beautiful and eclectic, you're sure to find works you’ll love. In The Rocks, the Argyle Gallery and Gannon House Gallery both sell a wide a range of styles from contemporary Aboriginal paintings to traditional bark paintings from regions as diverse as Arnhem Land and Utopia to the Western Desert.

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