Australian First Nations Art by Danielle Burford

When someone is asking me why I paint I will answer because it is my pleasure and because I love it, in reality thou, many (if not all) artists are painting to send message or to show their attitude towards something. In my category as I am Aboriginal Australian, I am trying to keep many aspects of the cultural reasons, that guided my ancestors to paint.

If you look closely on the paintings, that can be found all over the world as well as on those paintings that are painted today, you will be able to see path of the painter, his culture or story. In my case, my ancestors, people from Wiradjuri country painted in Xray style. Its depiction helped people to orientate themselves in the anatomy of animals. Placing of depicted organs was important to show our children where is what inside of the animal and was used as guiding tool to our Honorable Elders when they tried to preserve their knowledge about food aspects of every animal.

Painting was and still is very important for variety of reasons in our Cultures and you can find stories of creation connected to the spirituality, way of how our ancestors lived, how they used to hunt, what animals are part of diet of people and animals who feed on other animals so we could make sure, that we will keep plenty of them around to respect our culture, but also our ways of painting was to honor Spirits of Nature and animals, when we wanted to ask them for guidance, protection etc. All that, resulted in the well known fact, such as that we were guardians of the lands we used to live and nature was preserve.

These days, our art as well as art from other parts of the world is still connected to this ancient purpose, it is calling on us to close our eyes, stop for a while and respect our people, culture, family, friends and nature, which will be rewarding us greatly. These days we believe that our painting will interest other people from around the world and will suit them to learn about animals, for all those reasons we paint or we paint simply because we have to place our love or hatred from our heads and hearts onto canvas and hope that Spirits will be happy with our intentions and that our art will be loved by many.