Aboriginal culture dates back as far as between 60,000 to 80,000 years when they first settled in Australia. The first evidence of Aboriginal ethos or philosophy is evident in the still visible rock art which dates back more than 20,000 years.


Ochres were used to paint on rocks.  Archaeologists have been able to date remains and findings as far back as 40,000 to 60,000 years from discoveries of primal campsites.

There is no written language for Australian Aboriginal People, therefore to convey their important cultural stories through the generations, it is portrayed by symbols/icons through their artwork.


Indigenous art is centered on story telling. It is used as a chronical to convey knowledge of the land, events and beliefs of the Aboriginal people.


The use of symbols is an alternate way to writing down stories of cultural significance, teaching survival and use of the land. The interpretations of the iconography differ depending on the audience.

Margaret Tilmouth: Untitled

  • Medium: Acrylic on linen.

    Size: H: 2100mm x W: 1180mm.

    Year created: 1987