Arnhem land art

Traditional Arnhemland artists paint with ‘grass’, which is the stem of a freshwater reed that has many fibres inside. The thickness of the lines and they way in which they are applied is very important, they show Skin group, Clan and Country of the artist. 


Only four ochre colours are used; 

  • Yellow for the sun. 

  • Red for the blood of mother earth. She bleeds for you when you are born and when you die. 

  • White is used for body designs in ceremony. 

  • Black has secret meanings but is also the charcoal rubbed into cuts to create raised scars for tribal markings.