One of the best things to take home with you from a trip to Australia is some quality Aboriginal art, as not only is it incredibly beautiful, but it also comes out of a culture more than 40,000 years old. Before you shell out your hard earned cash for some great Aboriginal art, there are a few things you need to think about, including the following considerations.
Is it Authentic?
Unfortunately Australia is awash with cheap imitations of Aboriginal art which sometimes make it hard to know whether the items you are looking at are authentic or not. If they are, there will normally be quite a lot of information about where they are from and who the artist is, so if there isn't any proof that the item is the real deal, you can be pretty sure that it isn't.
Is it Fairtrade?
Once you know that it is real Aboriginal art and not an imitation, you should next make sure that it is Fair Trade, as a lot of talented Aboriginal artists are underpaid for their incredible artworks. For something to be considered Fair Trade it has to meet a strict level of social and environmental standards and sometimes this will be indicated by the appearance of a Fair Trade sticker or logo. Not all Fair Trade items have this marking so while it is rare for someone to claim a product is Fair Trade if it isn't, the best way to be 100% sure is to get online and do some of your own research on the business and the product.
What does it Mean?
Aboriginal paintings more often than not tell an important story, sometimes one that has been handed down over generations, so if you are going to invest in some Aboriginal art it is a good idea to know what the artwork means. It is usually easy to get someone to explain the symbols and meaning of a piece, though again if you are unsure, do some of your own research before you buy anything. Knowing the meaning of any art piece always makes it that much more powerful and will often help you pick which piece you want to purchase.
Is it Appropriate?
The only time you need to worry about whether or not a piece of Aboriginal art is appropriate is if you are buying items that are more than just a painting, like instruments or tools or weapons. For instance, some items are quite gender specific so it is good to know whether the item you are thinking of buying is an appropriate one for you or the person you may be buying for.
How to Preserve It?
If you are buying original art, you are going to want to be sure that you know exactly what you need to do to safeguard it against deteriorating over time. You may be spending quite a lot of money on a particular item so be sure to ask around about what you will need to do to take care of it properly.