The Indigenous art of Arnhem Land is quite distinct from the art styles of all other areas. Instead of iconography, the art gives a visual depiction of an object, person or mythological being. Quite often this is filled in with really painted lines, referred to as ‘raark’ or ‘cross-hatching’, and this in itself, by its, tells to which moiety or clan the artist belongs.
While there are similarities across Arnhem Land, stylistically the area can be divided into Eastern Arnhem Land, Central Arnhem, and Western Arnhem Land.
In past years much of the artwork was presented on slabs of eucalypt bark, suitably prepared by cleaning and flattening. In recent years some artists at same communities have also used sheets of ‘artists paper’ for the paint stratum, thus making the art work more marketable, to a larger audience.
While some of the art depicts stories from the local mythology, others talk about every day activities, eg: hunting, food gathering.
In addition to the paintings, a wide range of carved wooden and feathered items are produced for ceremonial use and are now marketed.