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Aboriginal Bark Painting

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1 Aboriginal Bark Painting
Grade Level: 6 Subject: Social Studies Fine Art: Visual Art ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How does art reflect how groups of people communicate feelings and ideas? OBJECTIVES: Students will describe (in writing) the characteristics that historians use to organize people into cultures. Students will explore Aboriginal culture and visual art and compare/contrast with Native American visual art (namely, Plains Indians’ cave paintings/pictographs) in discussion groups of about four students. Students will create Aboriginal bark paintings, using the contour line drawing technique and stylistic elements, copying the Aboriginal style and drawing animals as if they had X-ray vision.

2 Native American Culture Great Plains Indians
Aboriginal Culture Composed of various tribes, nations, and languages: Blackfoot, Lakota, Wichita, Pawnee Spiritualism: Sweatlodge ceremonies -Sun Dance, Ghost Dance Men were hunters, warriors, protectors Women tended to children, homes, farms -Cave paintings- tell where food is/ story telling -inhabited their land before anyone else and both have been pushed back further and further by others who invaded their land and took it over -nomadic people, traveling long distances for food -struck by European disease -Composed of various tribes usually based on languages and geography. (Aku Ramul, Kambre, Panara) -Spirituality: the land/objects share the same soul as the people: Dreamtime -folk style: didgeridoo -Astronomy: night sky tells stories/laws- Storylines -Bark painting

3 Culture Describe the characteristics that historians use to organize people into cultures Australian Aborigines Plains Indians Belief systems (Religion/Spirituality) Location Customs/Traditions Art

4 Rock art  Bark Painting

5 Aboriginal Art: Bark Paintings
Illustrate stories told to young people about their spiritual beliefs/customs. Some paintings illustrate animals as if they had “X-ray vision” expressing how their ancestors were responsible for creation (many show how animal and human anatomy as well as spirit are similar) Art form involving painting the interior of a strip of tree bark They heated the bark over hot coals of a fire until they were able to pound it flat They used paints made from ground rock (ochre), charcoal, and chalk on the flat bark with pointed sticks. Originally, bark paintings were produced for instructional/ceremonial purposes Some tell stories of Dreamtime- path of the creator spirit

6 Bark Paintings Historic bark paintings collected by Baldwin Spencer in 1912

7 Bark Paintings X-ray art shows the outside as well as some of the inside parts, the spine and organs of an animal or person Kolobar Kangaroo, Yuwun Y. Marruwarr Bark Painting, 27‖ x 15‖

8 Bark Paintings: “X-ray Vision”

9 Bark Paintings: “X-ray Vision”

10 Bark Paintings Several components:
Begin with border of image- Contour line drawing Sketch of the outermost edges of image (used in X-ray images of animals) Use dividing lines and feature blocks to help identify scenes in a story Figurative designs- resemble real or mythological creatures Geometric designs are representational symbols For example, a circle might represent a water hole, a mat, a campfire, a nut, a hole left by maggots, etc., depending on context Techniques: Fill the space with designs, shapes, lines crosshatching (drawing two layers of hatching at right-angles in order create a mesh-like pattern , dots Emphasis should be on lines, repeating patterns, borders Today, Aboriginal artists honor traditional DreamTime stories through their art, using old designs (as listed above) and techniques with modern materials such as acrylic paint and canvas

11 Plains Indians’ Cave Paintings
Pictographs: drawings or paintings made on rocks/ form of communication using symbols because no written language Illustrations suggest ongoing habitation, way of communication about hunting/food, and religious/ceremonial purposes (sacrifices) Many depict large wild animals: bison, horses, deer Pigments used include red and yellow ochre, manganese oxide and charcoal Scenes were often of hunting scenes; thought to bring ample prey for the next hunting season

12 Plains Indians Indigenous and nomadic people that lived in the plains/hills of the Great Plains of North America (modern western U.S. and parts of Canada) The Plains people did not have a written language of words and letters. They used pictures and symbols.  The Plains people wrote on rocks, cave walls, and on scraps of buffalo hide.  These pictographs told stories of their battles, heroes, and daily life. They also acted as warnings.

13 Pictographs

14 Plains Indians’ Pictographs

15 What Does Art Communicate?
Pictographs/cave paintings Told stories of their battles, heroes, and daily life. They also communicated as warnings (of weather, predators, harvest growth) Aboriginal bark paintings Communicate Dreamtime stories or their spiritual beliefs about how humans, animals, and plants have traveling spirits/souls Pass on ceremonial traditions Reflect and instruct clan members and ancestors of their beliefs and customs

16 Aboriginal Bark Paintings
Contour line drawing: technique when drawing the outermost edges of an image to make the item you are drawing look realistic Stylistic Elements: Contour Lines in X-ray bark paintings of animals to represent the outside as well as some of the inside parts, the spine and organs of an animal Aboriginal artists drew in X-ray vision style on the inside of the contour drawing of their animals. They drew shapes and designs (cross-hatching, figurative blocks/lines, and geometric figures) to represent what they imagine the inside of the animals would look like

17 Teacher’s Example

18 How To: Begin with a brown piece of construction paper (12” x 18”)
Choose an animal to draw Teacher will have visual examples of some animals to refer to when drawing the contour (outside edges of the animal) Draw the contour edges of the animal in pencil Draw realistic “insides”/“X-ray” of the animal (spine, organs, bones etc.) using elements & features discussed, in pencil Copy the aboriginal style using cross-hatching, blocks, and shapes Trace the pencil outlines in black sharpie Color “X-ray” Bark Painting in with crayons Tear the outside edges of brown construction paper to look like bark Mount “bark” on piece of black, red, yellow, or white construction paper (12” x 18”) with glue stick

19 Elements & Features *This poster will be put on the board for reference while slideshow is left on slide 18 for “How To”

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