The Aboriginal people of Australia

The Aboriginal people of Australia have a long and rich history founded in spirituality, nature and storytelling. Indigenous dot artwork is a part of the Aboriginal culture that is expressive and intricate, detailing traditional stories that date back to the time of Dreaming.

The origins of Aboriginal dot art

From ancient rock walls to artefacts to body paintings, dot painting has been a part of the Indigenous Australian culture for thousands of years. In Aboriginal tribes, the men were the storytellers, often drawing pictures in the sand to accentuate their tales. This form of description worked its way into other parts of the storytelling culture, making its way onto rock walls to depict the Dreamtime stories that are the very foundation of Aboriginal religion and culture and onto bodies as part of sacred rituals and dances.

Aboriginal nations have remained secretive when it comes to sharing their stories with other cultures. It wasn’t until the children of the Papunya community, north of Alice Springs, were asked to create a mural that Indigenous dot painting came to light for those that were not an initiated part of the community. The early dot paintings depicted sacred rituals and ceremonies, artefacts and important Aboriginal rituals. But over time, there has been a greater emphasis on abstraction among Indigenous artists, removing the sacred parts of the paintings to develop the style that we see today.

What are Aboriginal dot paintings?

Indigenous dot painting tells a story through the use of shapes, patterns and colours to create a work that is almost 3D in appearance. The intricate nature of dot painting is one of the oldest art forms in the world, dating back 60,000 years. This painting style is used to depict a wide range of stories and subject matter, from daily activities to pieces reminiscent of the artist’s land. Indigenous dot painting displays the strong connection of the Aboriginal people to their land and their culture.

For generations, Aboriginal art was composed using colours from natural materials, including charcoal, ochre and clay. Once the style became popularised, acrylic colours were introduced to the art form, making the works much brighter and more vivid. Today Aboriginal dot painting is a whimsical display of imaginative scenes created by members of the Aboriginal community that showcase the finest in Indigenous culture.

The unique features of Aboriginal dot painting

Not all Aboriginal nations have the tradition of dot painting, and the creative styles which are utilised can differ from community to community. Some showcase the Dreaming stories passed down from their ancestors through bold and ingrained dot formations, while the work of other artists can also be more delicate. The one common feature among virtually all Indigenous dot artwork is that it is designed to tell a story through patterns, shapes and colours.

The Dreamtime is a significant part of the Aboriginal culture and the stories of this time are what have shaped the Indigenous communities of today. Unlike the bush medicine leaf forms of art practised by some Indigenous communities, Aboriginal dot art focuses on depicting all aspects of life from sacred rituals to daily activities through a semi-abstract medium that is indicative of a dream-like state.

The artists who create Indigenous dot artwork

At OzBid, we are proud to showcase Aboriginal dot painting by a range of incredible Indigenous artists from various locations around the country. The works created for us by these talented people offer a unique aspect to the world of Australian art. From the likes of George Ward Tjungurrayi, whose work is inspired by his life lived in the traditional nomadic way, to the incredible women who tell the stories of their lives and traditions through their work, there is no shortage of exceptional and talented Indigenous artists to choose from in the OzBid collection.

Since the rise in popularity for Indigenous dot artwork in the 70s, it has become a viable way for Aboriginal people to create an income stream through their creativity. This increase in popularity has also led to the encouragement of young Indigenous people to showcase their culture to the world through the production of unique works of traditional art that pays homage to their land and a more traditional way of life.

Dot painting communities around Australia

Australia is home to a number of Indigenous communities that produce incredible Aboriginal dot art. These communities are widespread around the country, and each location features its own unique dot painting style.


As the location where Aboriginal dot painting was first brought to light for the rest of the world, Papunya is a prominent location for Aboriginal art. The style of painting that comes from this community, known as Papunya Tula, is derived from the artists’ knowledge of ceremonial sand and body painting.


Located approximately 270km northeast of Alice Springs, the Utopia community has been home to some of Australia’s most prominent Indigenous artists. Art is a big part of the Utopia community, being one of the income streams that the Utopian women used for the land hearing that gained their legal right to these traditional lands in 1979.


The artists of the Amata community, located in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands, are known for their distinctive dot style which is paired with vibrant colours to make bold statements on canvas. Many of the works from the Amata community tell the creation story of the honey ant or the Dreamtime story of the Seven Sisters.


Known as the most remote community in Australia, Kiwirrkurra offers a more traditional style of dot painting and upholds more of the Indigenous laws that only chosen, initiated members of the community have the right to paint their Dreamtime stories. Works from Kiwirrkurra are typically displayed in earthy colours, and artists tend to use more traditional and natural materials for their work.

The best way to buy Aboriginal dot art

Like all precious items purchased at auction, our collection of Aboriginal art for sale encompasses a truly unique collection. Being handcrafted by renowned Indigenous artists in communities throughout central Australia and the western desert only serves to make your purchase even more valuable. With timed online auctions, you can be sure that you will be getting the best value for money on your purchase of Aboriginal works of art and this process also allows us to achieve timely purchase results for the artists we work with.

By choosing to purchase your art at auction from OzBid, you are allowed total transparency with pricing guides set up for each piece in our collection online for you to review before the auction takes place. Being a relatively new concept in the art world, Indigenous dot artwork is in high demand and with only limited galleries carrying this particular style of art around the country, OzBid is proud to offer such a broad and diverse collection for you to choose from.

VIP shipping available Australia-wide

At OzBid, we offer a complete sales and shipping service to purveyors of fine Aboriginal art. Once you have completed your Aboriginal dot art purchase, you can select from several methods of delivery, from free shipping to Australian capital cities (except Darwin) and metro areas, to the collection of your new piece directly from our head office location in Sydney.

For those who do not qualify for free shipping, we offer a flat rate VIP shipping service Australia-wide based on the size of the work you have purchased. These rates are available online, or you are welcome to contact us for a customised VIP shipping quote on larger works or items being sent to more remote destinations. At OzBid, we love nothing more than to share this unique artistic style with the world, which is why we also offer international shipping on any Indigenous dot artwork purchased at auction.

Make OzBid your art dealer of choice today

When it comes to the epitome of Aboriginal art, dot painting is one of the most exceptional mediums that captures the stories and wonder of the Aboriginal Dreamtime. At OzBid, we are proud to source our dot painting works from a range of Indigenous artistic communities throughout the country to offer some of Australia’s most exceptional art to you via our online auction house.

OzBid is Australia’s largest dealer of Indigenous art by volume, which provides you with the opportunity to achieve the best value for money when it comes to sourcing Aboriginal art for sale. The works that we auction online are the highest in quality and attainable at lower prices than stand-alone galleries or other Australian retailers. With the ability to view, bid and buy from anywhere in the world, OzBid is the ideal location for you to find that stunning Aboriginal work of art for your home or place of business to bring a little of the wonderous Dreamtime of this incredible culture into your world.

Browse online or contact us today

At OzBid, we are proud to offer a complete service experience when it comes to the purchase of Aboriginal dot art. Our team is willing to assist you with your purchases in any way possible. Contact us with any questions you may have before participating in the online auction process. From shipping to the artistic background to authenticity, we are more than willing to answer any questions that you might have.

Browse our collection online today and discover a world of Indigenous dot artwork that has been handcrafted by some of the best Aboriginal artists in the country.


Is it disrespectful to do Aboriginal dot painting?

Dot painting remains a sacred art form for the Aboriginal people. Only certain artists from certain nations are permitted to produce this kind of art. Though there are numerous workshops around the country where one can learn more about this incredible art form, it is still considered disrespectful for non-Indigenous people to produce this kind of art. Aboriginal dot painting is a part of the Indigenous culture therefore, like many cultures around the world, it would be considered inappropriate for those who are not a part of the culture to reproduce something that is so deeply connected.

What is the importance of dot painting?

For centuries Aboriginal dot art has played an important role in the Indigenous culture. Its meaning and significance vary according to different nations around the continent — for some, it is simply a form of artistic expression. For others, it has sacred qualities which are used to communicate important and culturally significant stories.

Today, Dot painting is used in various forms, including body painting, rock paintings, and canvas works. Though dot painting was kept within Aboriginal communities until the early 1970s in Australia, it is now one of the country’s most popular styles of art.

How can I buy Aboriginal dot art for sale?

OzBid offers a wide collection of Aboriginal art, dot painting and bush medicine art to choose from. Those seeking Aboriginal art for sale will be impressed by the quality and value of the works available through OzBid from a collection of Indigenous artists who have earned their reputations in the Australian art world as masters of their craft. For a culturally significant artwork that is unique to the Australian Indigenous culture, browse the collection of Aboriginal dot art for sale on our website and place a bid for yourself on a piece of cultural history.