Over the past ten years or so, there has been a dramatic rise in the general appreciation and development of Aboriginal visual art practices in south-east Australia. Although Aboriginal people in the south-east (which in this report is the whole of Victoria including the adjoining border regions of South Australia and New South Wales) have always known that art continued in their communities and is a vital aspect of culture, since the end of the nineteenth century Aboriginal artists in this region have struggled to have their work accepted outside their communities as authentic and of cultural relevance.
There are few published accounts about the continuing survival of south-east Australian Aboriginal art since colonisation. In this report, we want to specifically highlight the way Aboriginal people have used their artwork to relate both individual and collective stories about their experiences and understanding of the world.
Image: William Barak (Wurundjeri c.1824–1903). Figures in Possum Skin Cloaks, 1898, pencil, wash, ground wash,
charcoal, gouache and earth pigments 57 cm x 88.8 cm. From report