Aboriginal Art and Culture in Australia

In Australian history, the significance of Arts and Culture in Aboriginal Art is profound. The Aboriginal cultural heritage in the central region of New South Wales in Australia is a significant aspect of the local community.

Traditionally Aboriginal Art was handed down through the family, this still continues today in some parts of Australia. Increasingly however, Aboriginal art is being taught in new ways including through family cultural trips, connecting to country, at schools in varying degrees and universities, art centers and in more personal ways. Young Aboriginal artists are constantly striving to find new ways to express their culture with the little information that they have and many want to learn more but don’t know how.

Art is a way of expressing identity, a sense of belonging and connection back to the land, community, family and culture. If Aboriginal artists didn’t make art to express all of this, then the dreaming would become lost and we, as Aboriginal people, would be lost too. 
Art is a major part of life for Aboriginal people and culture, it brings us back to ourselves, our family and the land from which we come from. Without Aboriginal Art Australia would lose its identity and heart. “Art is incredibly important to me: I know I would be lost without it.


The above except is from the Dreamtime Companion Book which is currently sold out and is made up of the Artwork from the Dreamtime Collection. It also contains fun and historical facts about the animals, the dreamtime, aboriginal art and culture.

The animals make up a huge part of the dreamtime, this can be seen throughout history within Australia. The most recognized, and the most popular creator being in the form of a Serpent is called the Rainbow Serpent that created all the waters, river ways and mountains, bringing life to all the natural landscapes it touched. 

What is the Dreamtime? and what does it mean to you?

The Dreamtime exists beyond time, space & sometimes our understanding; the idea about the Dreaming is multifaceted. Dreaming is best described as the beliefs, religion or law of Aboriginal people within Australia.
It is also the time where the Ancestor Beings created all the river ways, mountains and streams within Australia in the very beginning of time, often depicted in Aboriginal Dreamtime stories. These stories often describe the ways and laws of the land for the people that belong to a particular area which is called tribe within the map of Aboriginal Australia.
This allowed them to understand boundaries between men and women & the various stages of life.

The area Mirree was born in is called: Wiradjuri Tribe, NSW Australia and her mob belongs to the border of QLD and NSW which is called the Kooma Tribe.
Before the beginning of human life, the Dreaming ancestors traveled all around the countryside creating all natural things such as landforms, places, rivers, plants and people. They also created the rituals, designs, songs and ceremonies that are part of Aboriginal culture today, they are believed to exist simultaneously in the past, present and future.

The Dreamtime for Mirree is a place where she goes to contemplate life, putting together all lessons of life, into visual perspectives to create teachings for future generations to come. 
Life can be complex and like a huge jigsaw, these teachings/stories will offer guidance, clarity and a sense of awakening & understanding of life, the stories that Mirree will share with others.
Mirree’s gift is her visual creations through her paintings and teachings of the Dreamtime, she wishes to share this gift with you through the Dreamtime Collection.

What is the assimilation act in Australia and how does it relate to the Dreamtime Collection?

If you've ever lived in Australia, then you've been a part of its history and know here's been a great divide amongst Indigenous and non-indigenous people. 
Since the 1950s when the government put in place the assimilation act which is a policy in Australia, it was designed to set in motion at the time the assimilation of Aboriginal and part Aboriginal people into white society. Many Aboriginal people at the time had to flee their homes and felt an immense pressure to assimilate into white Australia. This changed the course of Aboriginal culture as we know it today. 
Mirree’s Dad was born in 1952 so the experience she went through in the family and result of how her family is now has been heavily influenced by this assimilation act, a policy that the government put in place from this time which went on for roughly 10 years.
 The government was measuring the success of this policy by how many birth certificates were been registered at the time, as Mirree’s father pointed out that he was the one responsible for registering many of our family members at the time.

Mirree has been proof of this assimilation and great divide that this government policy put in place from the 1950’s and I'm sure many in Australia are also, whether you know it yet or not or whether you would rather your identity and history to remain hidden. I guess that is up to the individual and because of these struggles it remains debatable how many so called: “white aboriginals” are out their still hiding their identity and it is in their right to do so if that is what they choose.
 But this is the very thing that makes Australia so unique, we are all still living together on top of this great big divide.

Increasingly, people from many different cultural backgrounds are coming together with a common aim of striving for equality for all, regardless of tribal affiliation, skin colour, race or caste. This not only relates to Australia but the entire world.

Mirree was born into an Aboriginal family on her father's side. Her father is the last living family relative in the immediate family that has lived off the land in those times. After having to move most of the family from the border of QLD and NSW due to the assimilation policy, Her father's family set up home in Bourke which is a town in the north-west of New South Wales of Australia, he moved to Dubbo a town in the Central West of NSW (which is also named Orana) when he was 12 years old when their family could no longer live off the land because of the droughts, floods, etc. 
Mirree learnt a lot by being taken into country for the very 1st time back in 2003 and 2004 at Bourke where her father come’s from. She feels that is where her spiritual journey started and knowledge and love for culture opened up and grew. Her father shared many stories with Mirree of those times. It all began to do with family and the strong and close ties that link aboriginal families together. It is a very special and sensitive connection to have and not one to be taken so lightly.

So by sharing this Dreamtime Collection with you I hope those close connections and personal stories, memories and experiences can be felt, coming through on these paintings to you. I hope the Dreamtime Collection connects you to the heart of the Australian country. We all belong to this country.

Mirree specializes in Contemporary Aboriginal Art and culture dating back to the 1950's (specializing in Aboriginal Art and history when she completed her BA in Fine Art in 2001). The Dreamtime Collection has been an accumulation of many experiences traveling around Australia which Mirree did for 6 years after her degree this was before she created the Dreamtime Collection, from these trips around Australia her dreaming came alive where she was inspired to create the Dreamtime Collection from her findings.

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Meet the Artist

Mirree is a highly successful and acclaimed Contemporary Aboriginal Artist. Learn more

Dreamtime Rainbow Serpent Contemporary Aboriginal Painting by Mirree

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