Australia's Aboriginal Artists

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Goompi Ugerabah is an Aboriginal artist from the Gurreng Gurreng people near Maryborough in Queensland Australia. Goompi’s Aboriginal name translates to possum from the place of the goanna. Goompi is FINEPRINT co’s premiere contemporary indigenous artist.

Goompi has been painting since 2002 and has become a rising star in the Aboriginal art world. Using a restrained colour palate and eye-catching graphic designs, Goompi is able to create exciting and engaging works of art.

Aboriginal art is one of Australia’s leading art styles alongside contemporary and modern art. His artworks are investment pieces and his black and white style has been tagged as corporate style art purchased in Australia and around the world.

Goompi’s motivation behind his art is clear. ‘I want to do my best to show our culture to the world and also teach our young to keep traditions alive as our culture that our ancestors practiced and lived is who we really are and that gives us our true identity.’

Goompi is well-known for his dot paintings. His aboriginal art paintings are now internationally recognised as unique and integral to Australian Aboriginal art. They are often considered to be the pinnacle of Aboriginal Australian Art as his works have been found in many prominent art galleries around Australia and the world.

The History of Aboriginal Dot Paintings

The simple dot style as well as cross hatching maybe beautifully aesthetic to the eye but has a far more hidden meaning and deeper purpose; to disguise the sacred meanings behind the stories in the paintings.

Aboriginal Dot paintings originated 47 years ago back in 1971.  Geoffrey Bardon was assigned as an art teacher for the children of the Aboriginal people in Papunya, near Alice Springs.  Geoffrey noticed whilst the Aboriginal men were telling stories they would draw symbols in the sand.  These symbols would go on to tell a story about their people, their time and convey the stories of the Aboriginal people.
 
He encouraged his students to paint a mural based on traditional dreamings on the school walls. The murals ignited incredible interest in the community. He tasked them to paint the stories onto canvas and board.  Soon many of the men in the community began painting as well.

Aboriginal artworks have since been painted in acrylic and are a beautiful blend of traditional and contemporary. The dot technique gives the painting an almost 3D effect and a sense of movement and rhythm. 

Many people comment that the paintings look alive and that they literally seem to jump out at you. The flat canvas comes to life with energy and liveliness just like the dreamings and rituals that inspired them.
 
The first dot paintings to were never intended to be sold to the public.  The works were visual reminders of their own being, they told their stories in new ways. They painted land that they belonged to and the stories that are associated with those sites. In essence they were painting their identity onto the boards, as a visual assertion of their identity and origins.

Originally colours were restricted to variations of red, yellow, black and white produced from ochre, charcoal and pipe clay. Later acrylic mediums were introduced allowing for more vivid colourful paintings. As many other art styles have done in the past Aboriginal Art has evolved over time.

These art works could show dots, cross hatching, maps of circles, spirals, lines and dashes which is the long established pictorial language of Western Desert Aboriginal People.

Goompi has practiced culture (song, dance and language) from a young age. He’s an active member and manages, Bundjalung Kunjiel Dance Troupe which has performed for members of Parliament, international guests and influential people in Australia and overseas.

Goompi has travelled to Europe and North America to exhibit his artworks and to showcase his cultural dances with the world.  Some of Goompi’s art admirers, who now own pieces of his artworks include The Princess, Benedicta of Denmark and The C.I.A in America, which both also witnessed the tribal dances of his troupe.

He has exhibited widely in South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales area and now in galleries around the world.

Dot paintings are now internationally recognised as unique and integral to Australian Aboriginal Art. They are often considered to be the Australian art equivalent to Native American paintings and portraits done by the American natives. 

The simple dot style as well as cross hatching maybe beautifully aesthetic to the eye but has a far more hidden meaning and deeper purpose; to disguise the sacred meanings behind the stories in the paintings.

Before Indigenous Australian art was ever put onto canvas the Aboriginal people would smooth over the soil to draw sacred designs, which belonged to that particular ceremony. 

Body paint was also applied which held meanings connected to sacred rituals.  These designs were outlined with circles and encircled with dots.

At first they used cardboard or pieces of wood, which was later replaced by canvas.
 
This began the famous Papunya Tula Art Movement.

It wasn’t until May 2007 that saw the first piece of indigenous art sold for more than $1 million. It was achieved by Emily Kame Kngwarreye’s work ‘Earth’s Creation’ also sold in 2007 to a private buyer for $1.056 million. 

First Million Dollar Aboriginal Artwork

The same year in July of one of Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri’s acclaimed work ‘Warlugulong “map series” reached $2.4 million. Aboriginal Art is equally at home in both galleries and museums. The Australian Aboriginal is arguably the most successful and certainly the longest surviving culture in human history. 

It is complex and focused on long-term survival in the most hostile of environments.

Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri’s “Warlugulong” sold for $2.4 million dollars in 2007

Aboriginal Art reflects the earliest period of the indigenous culture; it has both artistic and anthropological roots. This is one of the reasons it is so special and important to both the art world and the Australian indigenous people.

Contemporary Aboriginal art has been an incredible way for the indigenous artists of Australia to be able to express their stories through their works 

To see more of Goompi’s works please follow this link below:

https://fineprintco.com/collections/goompi-ugerabah