The dotted motifs of much of today’s Aboriginal modern design work has become
the trademark of the contemporary Aboriginal Art movement. Its iconic status
developed from a culture stretching back into the history of an ancient land,
evolving and weaving into desert dreamtime stories.
Animals play a significant part in Indigenous culture, whether it is a
totemic relationship, and part of a dreaming, or as food. Appearing in the
artwork of many Aboriginal artist, it’s place goes beyond the physicality of
bush tucker, being depicted in a number of dreamtime and other stories, such as
‘Goanna Dreaming’. There is another story that is described by the aboriginal
Thanguwa in her work ‘Goanna Calling for Rain’:
The ‘Old People’ say when you see a goanna climbing up a tree or old
log, it is calling for rain, to bring life back to the land, calling to the
spirits who may be willing to listen and send rain.
In the depiction of the Goanna, many artist stamp their own unique way of
portraying the animal, whether it is just showing the tracks left by the animal
or as the flattened outline or three dimensional form. The ‘Ngintaka’ goanna
often also appearing in animal carvings.
In Aboriginal art, there is a
difference between the Goanna and the Perentie, as depicted in the ‘How
the Perentie and Goanna got their Colours’.