Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. investigate the role of art in Aboriginal Australian cultures in relation to the geographical and historical context in which it exists
  2. explore the range of perspectives shaping the interpretation of Aboriginal art and representations of Aboriginal people, demonstrating the ability to critically evaluate the integrity of diverse sources of information
  3. demonstrate critical thinking skills and cultural understanding in interpreting contemporary Aboriginal Australian art.

    • Introduction
    • Aboriginal Nations Pre-Invasion
    • The 'Unsettling' of Australia
    • Aboriginal Art in Colonial Australia 1788-1900
    • Aboriginal Peoples in the Photographic Archive
    • Ephemeral Practices, Ritual, Song and Performance in Aboriginal cultures
    • Artefact and Landscape as Memory Triggers in Aboriginal Communities
    • Diversity and Difference
    • International Markets, Displacement and Commodification in Remote Aboriginal Communities
    • Artists as Cultural Warriors: The Twentieth Century Human Rights movements
    • Contemporary Art. History Under the Microscope; Reclaiming the Present and the Future
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Audio/Video conferencing
      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Standard Media
      • Web links
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links
      • Printable format materials

Equivalent subjects

You cannot enrol in this subject if you have successfully completed any of the following subject(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • CUR-VIS36

You are recommended to have completed the following subjects(s) or have equivalent knowledge before starting this subject:


You need proficiency in the English language and be competent in writing essays.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject was previously known as VIS25 Contemporary Indigenous Australian Art.

In this subject you will explore the richness, complexity and diversity of Aboriginal art in Australia. Learn about the importance of art in Aboriginal culture, the impact of British colonisation and the strategies that Aboriginal artists use to maintain cultural knowledge, fight for political rights, and bear witness to the ongoing survival and resilience of Aboriginal Australians.

Please Note: If it’s your first time studying a Curtin University subject you’ll need to complete their compulsory ‘Academic Integrity Program’. It only takes two hours to complete online, and provides you with vital information about studying with Curtin University. The Academic Integrity Program is compulsory, so if it’s not completed your subject grades will be withheld.

Find out more about the Academic Integrity module.

  • Essay 1 (40%)
  • Essay 2 (45%)
  • Online test (15%)

Textbook information is pending.

Textbook information is pending.

Related degrees

undergraduate CUR-FAV-DEG-2019

Bachelor of Arts Fine Art and Visual Culture

  • Common Level 1
  • Level 1 Major - Fine Art
  • Level 1 Major - Visual Culture
  • Level 2 Major - Fine Art - Painting
  • Level 2 Major - Fine Art - Sculpture
  • Level 2 Major - Visual Culture 1
  • Level 2 Major - Visual Culture 2
  • Level 3 Major - Fine Art
  • Level 3 Major - Visual Culture

undergraduate USA-IND-DEG-2019

Bachelor of Arts Indigenous Studies

  • Major in Indigenous Studies Subjects