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Arts & Culture 
of Australia

 To talk about Arts in Australia, we have first to talk about Aboriginal Art for the simple fact they are stamped in many shapes and forms in rocks all over Australia. Most of these painting were made to tell histories to the next generation. For example, some painting are about floods that happened in a certain region. Also these paintings tell legends, and belief like the rainbow serpent. Anthropologists believe there are paintings much older than those found today, but probably they are under the ground due the action of the time. Some of these paintings were made blowing ink with the mouth over a subject, eg.: one arm, hand , foot, etc... In places like Carnarvon National Park, ink was blown on dead children's hands, over a rock to perpetuate their passage on Earth. Some other painting are about how and were to find food, about a person or spirits. Because Aborigine people had no written language at that time, this was the only way to pass knowledge from a generation to the next. Still today those histories are passed to the young. Some places with paintings are open to the tourist/public, but some can only be seen with permission from the Aborigine tribe that owns the land. Some are sacred and cannot be seen (shown).

The painting on screens began just after the arrival of British prisoners in Australia. When they were not happily involved in forced works, some start dedicating to paint what they see around. There was not much art in it, just reproduce the native landscape, very different from the beloved England. John Eyre was one of these convicts that better picture the local environment on screens. Also he could do nice sculptures as well in the early 1800's. Years later, Conrad Martens became famous painting landscapes including for Charles Darwin. But was John Glover around 1830 that gave birth to what is called "The Australian Modern Painting". His paintings did not reflected landscape but what he was feeling when contemplating the landscape. Criticism to his work soon emerged and cause concerns between some radical, because his was distorting the "real Australia". Many other very good painters succeeded, the majority, still on the landscape theme. Nora Simpson, gave continuity to John Glover, but out of the landscape theme and more on the French style. Albert Namatjira (1902-1959) is one of the best know Aborigine painters and his work reach high marks on the International Art market.

In Music, the best known Australian Artist was AB (Banjo) Paterson, that composed Waltzing Matilda, a song that almost became the Official national anthem, but is sung in almost every important event. It is a country/folk song, sometimes making no sense, and it is about a sheep. On the Rock scene, groups such as Bee Gees, Midnight Oil, and ACDC, had and still have great national and international projection.

On the movie scene creations such as Crocodile Dundee, Priscilla-Queen of the Desert, e Rabbit Proof Fence (don't miss this one) show various sides of the Australian life, comedy and dramas.

Sydney Opera House

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