Although the Arts Minister

Australian Arts, culture

Australia's Art and culture is a fine reflection of both contemporary and traditional societies dating back to the era of the Aboriginal Islanders. The indigenous inhabitants of Australia known as the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders were a diverse group of people with varied cultural beliefs, practices and traditions and spoke many different languages. The foundation for all art in based on Aboriginal traditional culture. Modern Australia's art and culture derives much of its inspiration from the Anglo-Celtic Australians, the Aboriginals and also the various migrant cultures.

Performing Arts

  • The performing arts of Australia are full of vitality, variety, enthusiasm and originality. Famous companies like Circus Oz and the Australian Chamber Orchestra as well as the Indigenous groups such as Bangarra Dance Theatre and the Aboriginal and Islander Dance Theatre are popular throughout the world.

The various forms of performing arts include music, dance, literature and cinema.


'Aboriginal music :

  • An integral part of the Aboriginal culture is the aboriginal song and the most renowned feature of their music is the didgeridoo, a wooden instrument popular among the Aboriginal clans of Australia, now adopted by non-Aboriginal performers too.
  • Australian music comprises of an amazing range of music genres. While guitarist Slava Grigoryan explores the Argentinean tango and Brazilian bossa nova, the Australian Art Orchestra composes masterpieces in collaboration with master musicians from South India.
  • Australia's symphony orchestras of Australia have carved out a niche for themselves in the cultural history of Australia. Some of the internationally acclaimed Australian composers are Larry Sitsky, Peter Sculthorpe, Percy Grainger, Richard Mealle and Ross Edwards.
  • The Opera Australia, the third busiest opera company in the world is the national company of Australia and is resident of the spectacular Sydney Opera House.
  • The past few decades have witnessed the emergence of contemporary Australian pop and rock music. The international names under this genre include The Whitlams, Savage Garden, INXS, Kylie Minogue and AC/DC among others.

  • Famous companies like the Australian Ballet and Sydney Dance Company tour quite frequently with a diverse range of international and Australian work. Australian Choreographers and dancers are discovering new audiences for their cutting -edge work at various nightclubs and other unconventional venues.

  • Australian literature contributes significantly to the definition and appreciation of Australian culture. Australians have won many literary international awards ever since Patrick White was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973.Some of the prize-winning prose writers are Helen Garner, Elizabeth Jolly, David Malouf, Archie Weller, and Tim Winton.
  • Cinema- Since the 1940s, the Australian films and actors have been winners of the highest industry accolades like the Academy Awards and nominations. The Piano (1993), Babe (1995), and Shine (1996) are some of the more recent Academy Award winners. Actors like Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Mel Gibson, Judy Davis and Geoffrey Rush are now big names in the global film Fraternity.

Visual Arts
  • Visual Artists play a significant role in shaping the image of Australia. In the 1970s the elders of Northern Territory Pintupi people transferred the mythological Dreamtime designs from sand paintings to canvasses and boards.
  • This was one of the many initiatives that developed new associations between the indigenous and non- indigenous Australians. Artworks created by the indigenous Australians continue to attract international attention.
  • The paintings of artists like Arthur Streeton, Tom Roberts, and Sidney Nolan remain an integral part of Australia's Cultural landscape and offer a link to the country's past whereas contemporary artists like William Robinson, Rosella Namok, Tracy Moffat create work that mirror contemporary Australia.

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