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Buying Aboriginal Art

Bits of Australia has a range of beautiful Aboriginal Art available online or in store in Balmain.

History

One of the oldest unbroken traditions of art in the world, Aboriginal art can be traced back thousands of years and has been found on ancient wood and rock carvings around the country. 

Many artworks tell stories of the Dreamtime, when the land was inhabited by ancestral figures, with dreaming stories often handed down within family groups for generations.

Designs and stories in modern Aboriginal art are based on traditional designs used in cave paintings, body painting and other cultural purposes, with some techniques developed for wider enjoyment in recent years.

Choosing your Aboriginal Art

This is all about your preference, so choose the colour, style and size that you like. You might find that the story associated with the painting is what matters, or appeals to you in a way that makes the artwork more enjoyable, or that the story of the artist is important, but that is up to you.

The Indigenous Art code

Look for membership of the Indigenous Art Code, which is a voluntary industry code of conduct administered by the Indigenous Art Code Ltd (IartC).

The Code is a set of rules and guidelines that dealers (both Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses) commit to follow to ensure ethical practices and fair treatment of artists.

This includes how artists are to be engaged and involved in pricing their works and ensuring they are recognised as the creators of their work.

It is an important standard to have in place to support and maintain the integrity of the art industry in Australia and Bits of Australia is a proud member.

Transporting and shipping

The artwork can be a stretched canvas that you can hang on your wall right away, or a rolled painting that can be sent safely via a trusted courier. There is usually no “standard” method of packing art pieces: it should be individually and carefully tailored to ensure maximum protection.

Artwork can be quite travel-friendly if unframed – most will roll up and travel well but take the same care to avoid crushing and creasing, even packing within a cardboard tube for extra protection and your artwork should travel as well as you do.

Caring for your Aboriginal artwork

A retailer that is specialised in Aboriginal artwork will be able to give you the best advice on how to care for your newly acquired painting. They will be also the ones to wrap your canvas with great care, especially the painting surface, so it doesn't get damaged on the trip home. Usually, they will roll it up nicely to put inside a cylindrical tube or flat in a cardboard box for smaller artworks, that will protect your artwork efficiently. Don't keep it too long in a tight roll for long periods of time as the paint might crack as it becomes more rigid over time. Ask our team more details on how we care for our paintings!

Materials

Your Aboriginal art may have been created using different media, such as oils, gouache, watercolours, charcoals, pastels or acrylic paints. Most aboriginal art is now done with acrylic paint on canvas, which has been found to stand up better over time than the other choices. 

Don't touch it!

This may seem obvious but try not to touch or handle your artwork as grease, dirt and oil can be transferred very easily from your hands to the canvas. Keep it away from young children and pets as well.

Avoid extreme temperatures

Acrylic paint doesn't like extreme heat or cold, as the colours can fade more easily. Your painting will last longer in a room where you feel comfortable too, where the temperatures are more stable.

Avoid heat: don't place your painting near a fireplace, ovens, stoves, radiators, or other source of heat. Likewise, avoid cold: don't store your paintings in a room, garage or shed that has no heating, even if they are still in their storage cylinders!

Direct sunlight is another cause of the fading of the colour so take care when choosing where to hang your painting.

Dust

Here it is, your beautiful painting is now on the wall, but you're still worrying about the dust that swirls around. You can brush the front and back regularly with a soft, clean towel or a feather duster (always test an area before cleaning the whole painting). We don't recommend using a damp cloth or detergents as they may dissolve the acrylic paint and damage the canvas.

Mould

Like any other valuable home decoration, you will need to inspect your paintings regularly, especially if you live in an area with high humidity. Prevention is the key here! Also check carefully if they are still stored in their storage box, as sheets of tissue paper between layers of paintings can encourage mould in high humidity environments.

Framing

Your artwork can be displayed as it comes, loose as an unstretched canvas, or stretched on a wooden frame similar to the one used when it was painted.

If you prefer, you can add a trim or frame - careful selection of the right materials can really set off a painting and display it at its best.

Enjoying your art

Most importantly, you should enjoy your chosen artwork.

Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions or come meet us and our beautiful and affordable artworks in our showroom in Balmain, Sydney!