8 Aboriginal Artists to Look to for Creative Inspiration

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Psychedelic landscapes, hand printed textiles and intricate paintings made from natural pigments are just some of the works by these talented artists.

Words by Grace Wright

Otis Hope Carey 

Otis Hope Carey is a contemporary artist whose work oozes authenticity. His paintings feature colours and shapes you can’t help but get lost in. But perhaps the most inspiring aspect of Otis’ work is how he describes the painting process as being a healing one, likening the marks he puts on the canvas to medicine. 

Otis’ latest work exhibits in February at China Heights Gallery in Sydney. Speaking of the work, Otis has said that, “these paintings are my way of showing people that a healing process can be a beautiful process. I’d like to think they are healing other Indigenous people as well as healing our relationship with non-Indigenous people.”

Lillardia Briggs-Houston 

Lillardia Briggs-Houston is the artist, designer and founder behind the slow fashion label Ngarru Miimi. Each garment by the label is hand printed with beautifully detailed patterns that celebrate Aboriginal culture. 

As said by Lillardia, behind the label’s textiles are “thousands of years of culture and kinship that represent the true history of the many different nations across these lands”. Ngarru Miimi’s 2021 collection is coming soon, so make sure you follow them on Instagram to see it when it arrives. 

“These paintings are my way of showing people that a healing process can be a beautiful process.”

Wayne Quilliam 

Wayne Quilliam is an artist and photographer who is best known for his psychedelic landscape photos inspired by cultural stories and time immersed in nature. 

We recently sat down for an interview with Wayne, where he revealed fascinating insights into his practice, like the fact that his creations are “emotive captures through listening, not necessarily seeing.” This unique approach to his craft shines through in all of his creations which are unlike anything we’ve seen before. 

Jay Bird 

Jay Bird is a contemporary artist based in Byron Bay. He creates incredibly detailed, slow artworks and shares much of his patient practice for us all to admire. Have a look at the ‘Process’ highlight on his Instagram story for an insight into the intricacies of his work.

Tony Albert

Tony Albert is a multi-disciplinary artist living in Sydney, whose work combines photography, text, video, drawing, painting and three-dimensional objects. His bold work invites reflection on the misrepresentations of Aboriginal culture, and what it means to be an Aboriginal person today. 

Albert creates important, contemplative work that can be seen in major galleries all over the world. His works are currently on display at the National Gallery of Victoria.

“Sometimes I can look down, start painting and when I look up its been a few hours, but I feel like I’ve just blinked.”

Melissa Ladkin 

Melissa Ladkin is an artist who lets nature inform every aspect of her creative practice. She works specifically with ochre, and describes collecting the materials she paints with as a “deeply personal and spiritual part of the process.” The rich colours in her artworks are inspired with the deep and intuitive connection she’s felt with the land since a young age.

Hayley Millar Baker

Hayley Millar Baker is a research-driven contemporary artist who has been named as one of the top eight young Australian artists by the Museum of Contemporary Art. She combines her photography with archival images to create moving monochromatic works that tell stories of the past and present. 

If you’re eager to check out Hayley’s work in person, her newest body of work I Will Survive exhibits at the Vivian Anderson Gallery and the State Library of Victoria in February this year.

Niah McLeod

The art by Niah McLeod has a distinctive palette and effortless style you won’t soon forget. Niah describes her intricate paintings as meditative, saying in an interview with Assembly Label, “sometimes I can look down, start painting and when I look up its been a few hours, but I feel like I’ve just blinked.”

If you ever get a chance to see Niah’s work in person, don’t miss out on taking it. Her pieces are even more breathtaking when seen up close.

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Grace Wright

Grace Wright is a writer and editor working on Australia’s east coast. With a love of discovering stories and a penchant for visual mediums, she enjoys writing about photography, design and anything else that catches her eye.

2021-01-25T05:57:15+00:00Categories: Culture|Tags: |