Contemporary Indigenous Art

Term: 3 Year: 2006
Contemporary Indigenous Art 2
Contemporary Indigenous Art 1
Contemporary Indigenous Art 5
Contemporary Indigenous Art 4
Contemporary Indigenous Art 3

This unit of work, which included images and techniques of Indigenous Art, was part of my first Term planner –
“What does it mean to be Australian?”.


Physical, Personal and Social Learning

  • Personal Learning -Students seek and respond to teacher feedback to develop their content knowledge and
    understanding. They describe task progress and achievements, suggesting how outcomes may have been improved.
  • Civics and Citizenship -They describe the contribution of various cultural groups, including Aboriginal
    and Torres Strait Islander communities, to Australian identity.

Discipline-based Learning

  • Creating and Making -Students evaluate effectiveness of their art works and make changes to realise
    intended aims.
  • Exploring and Responding -They discuss traditional and contemporary art works using appropriate arts
    language to describe the content, structure and expressive qualities.

Interdisciplinary Learning

  • Communication -Using provided criteria, they evaluate the effectiveness of their own and other’s
  • Thinking -Students use creative thinking strategies to generate imaginative solutions when solving


  • To begin this activity, the students were given a test. This was based on word/image response, eg sun, star,
    water, man, grass, etc.
  • The purpose of this activity was to reveal commonalities in response.
  • Next, we examined traditional Aboriginal art works to discover the types of images used.
  • We also looked at how these art works were made, colours used, the influences of locality depicted in them and
    the story element.
  • Students investigated a variety of Aboriginal artworks from traditional to more contemporary forms, like Sally
    Morgan’s work.
  • After examining Sally Morgan’s pictures, the students were given a set task to create their own compositions with
    the following criteria:- pictures must have a border, include repeated symbols/images, divide page into parts,
    detailing of images and have large and small shapes and limited colour scheme.
  • Students were also provided with the assessment criteria:- show evidence of developing ideas, inclusion of
    composition criteria, demonstrate ability to manipulate water colour medium, use of art elements (line, colour,
    shape, space) and be able to articulate decisions made when developing their composition.
  • Initial sketches were made and then developed into a composition on litho paper.
  • Designs were traced onto A3 cartridge paper using a light source (window) and then watercolour applied.
  • The students were limited to five colours however, shades of a colour counted as one colour. When finished
    painting, students used coloured markers to outline areas of their work.
  • Finally, they added dot painting using a very fine water colour brush. Students examined traditional Indigenous
    art forms, the images used, techniques and compositions and then moved on to more contemporary artists.

Materials Required: Black lead pencils, rubber, sharpener, Litho paper, A3 Cartridge paper,
Watercolour palettes, water colour brushes, water pots, Coloured markers

Mill Park Heights Primary School