Australian Painted Aboriginal Art Animals

Aboriginal animal art has been produced for tens of thousands of years. From ancient rock art to the various creative expressions we see today. The wide variety of styles range from modern figurative, symbolic, to the iconic ‘x-ray’ style found on bark paintings.

For Indigenous Australians, animals are an important partner in life. They are vital to ensure survival, but they are also revered and featured in the ancient Dreamtime stories.

Artworks Found:  180 - Page: 1 of 8

Price: $2,995.00
Size: H-118 x W-91 cm.

Emu Feathers - RWJG0047

Emu Feathers - RWJG0047

Raymond Walters Penangke

Price: $1,650.00
Size: H-30 x W-183 cm.

Emu Dreaming - PEOG0236

Emu Dreaming - PEOG0236

Peter Overs

Price: $3,995.00
Size: H-140 x W-106 cm.

Scorpion Dreaming - FPUG0038

Scorpion Dreaming - FPUG0038

Freddy Purla

Price: $5,995.00
Size: H-183 x W-122 cm.

Kalaya Tjukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) - PBAG0034

Kalaya Tjukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) - PBAG0034

Patricia Baker Tunkin

Price: $1,495.00
Size: H-66 x W-87 cm.

Scorpion Dreaming - FPUG0134

Scorpion Dreaming - FPUG0134

Freddy Purla

Price: $895.00
Size: H-61 x W-31 cm.

Fairy Wrens - KBZG0585

Fairy Wrens - KBZG0585

Kathleen Buzzacott

Price: $895.00
Size: H-61 x W-61 cm.

Minma Marlilu Tjukurrpa - CTUG0063

Minma Marlilu Tjukurrpa - CTUG0063

Clarise Tunkin

Price: $39,995.00
Size: H-237 x W-149 cm.

Maranja - HMCG0230

Maranja - HMCG0230

Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty

Price: $5,995.00
Size: H-121 x W-180 cm.

Emu Feathers - RWJG0083

Emu Feathers - RWJG0083

Raymond Walters Penangke

Price: $5,995.00
Size: H-180 x W-119 cm.

Emu Feathers - RWJG0060

Emu Feathers - RWJG0060

Raymond Walters Penangke

Price: $1,495.00
Size: H-120 x W-30 cm.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos - KBZG0649

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos - KBZG0649

Kathleen Buzzacott

Price: $6,500.00
Size: H-91 x W-76 cm.

Awurrapun - HMCMG1147

Awurrapun - HMCMG1147

Helen McCarthy Tyalmuty

Price: $5,995.00
Size: H-180 x W-119 cm.

Emu Feathers - RWJG0032

Emu Feathers - RWJG0032

Raymond Walters Penangke

Price: $3,995.00
Size: H-152 x W-91 cm.

Kalaya Tjukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) - PBAG0039

Kalaya Tjukurrpa (Emu Dreaming) - PBAG0039

Patricia Baker Tunkin

Price: $1,295.00
Size: H-60 x W-60 cm.

Families Digging for Honey Ants - KBZG0402

Families Digging for Honey Ants - KBZG0402

Kathleen Buzzacott

Price: $795.00
Size: H-60 x W-30 cm.

Princess Parrots - KBZG0602

Princess Parrots - KBZG0602

Kathleen Buzzacott

Price: $795.00
Size: H-56 x W-25 cm.

Ring Neck Parrots - KBZG0614

Ring Neck Parrots - KBZG0614

Kathleen Buzzacott

Price: $795.00
Size: H-61 x W-31 cm.

Galahs - KBZG0576

Galahs - KBZG0576

Kathleen Buzzacott

Price: $1,495.00
Size: H-71 x W-71 cm.

Families Digging for Honey Ants - KBZG0600

Families Digging for Honey Ants - KBZG0600

Kathleen Buzzacott

Price: $5,995.00
Size: H-183 x W-120 cm.

Emu Feathers - RWJG0079

Emu Feathers - RWJG0079

Raymond Walters Penangke

Price: $24,500.00
Size: H-200 x W-200 cm.

Piltati: Wanampi Tjukurpa - WTGHF0001

Piltati: Wanampi Tjukurpa - WTGHF0001

Witjiti George

Artworks Found:  180 - Page: 1 of 8

An important partner in life

Kathleen Buzzacott - BudgerigarAboriginal people have co-existed with Australia’s unique flora and fauna for over 50,000 years. They are not only an important food source but can also be a signpost to survive Australia’s harsh climate. For example the sighting of a budgerigar in the central desert, means you are close to a source of water.

Animals can also provide essential cultural signposting for how to live life and conduct oneself. In many Aboriginal cultures, animals are the creator spirits in Dreamtime stories. The Indigenous people are the descendants of these creation spirits.

For example, the kangaroo is a creation spirit and Dreaming ancestor of the Aboriginal people in Tasmania. If your totem is the kangaroo, then you have clearly defined duties and roles. These roles would ensure the conservation of this animal.

This includes maintaining the country, so it is favourable to the kangaroo. Which provided meat and clothing in the old days before European contact. It was also paramount that the songs, dances, and stories about the ancestral kangaroo were maintained.

Totems ensured everyone had a duty to conserve the environment, and each person was accountable for their totem. They had a duty during their lifetime to do the right thing by their totem. They also needed to pass on this important knowledge to the next generation.

A source of inspiration for Indigenous Australian artists

Animals hold an important role in the lives of Indigenous Australians. It is not surprising that they have been a source of inspiration for Aboriginal artists over many years. They have been depicted in ancient mediums such as rock art and body paintings and in modern art forms used today.

Aboriginal rock art is some of the oldest existing on earth. Arnhem Land and the far north are by far Australia’s most prolific rock art areas. Kakadu National Park is one of the richest and most extensive rock art areas of Australia. Paintings of humans, mammals, reptiles, and fish can be seen on cave walls and rocky overhangs throughout the park.

Bark painting techniques have also been practised for centuries in this area of Australia. Artists from this region share their deep knowledge from observations of animal insides by using the X-ray style.

This style is recognized by the creature shown in profile with internal organs visible. These paintings are usually based on a lifetime as a hunter-gatherer. They truly know their subjects inside out.

Paddy Fordham - fish and lizard

Kangaroos, wallaby, crocodiles, snakes, turtles, and emus have been portrayed on cave walls for generations. Later painted onto bark and then translated onto today's materials. Bark paintings are still very popular, but also paper, board, and new media.


Animal Tracks - Michael Nelson

In the central and western desert regions of Australia, the main forms of traditional visual representation are sand and body paintings. The modern acrylic Aboriginal paintings of many artists from this region are based on these patterns. This is the region known for Aboriginal dot painting and designs known as Awelye.

Artists from desert regions of Australia usually use symbols to show animals in their artworks. These symbols are the animal tracks as they walk across the sand.

Some, Indigenous artists from around Australia have chosen to show animals as figures in a couple of unique ways. Certain artists paint frogs, lizards, ants, birds, butterflies, and echidnas in intricate detail. Other artists prefer a more simple form, using composition, colour, and line to create highly vivid and dynamic paintings.