Australian Aboriginal Artists Biographies

There are estimated to be between 5000 and 7000 Aboriginal artists actively occupied in regular art or craft work in Australia. Many of these Aboriginal artists have led amazingly varied lives, often in difficult circumstances.

We can give short biographies of only a small fraction of these people – mainly of Aboriginal artists whose work is presented on our Web site. The notes give an impression of the artists’ backgrounds and aspects of their lives as people as well as working artists and are arranged by regions – click on the link to read a biography of an artist from a particular region.

Map of regions for biographies of Aboriginal artists Arnhem Land


Cape York

Central and Western deserts including Hermannsburg

Kimberley (including Warmun)

Tiwi Islands




Alternatively, you can search for an artist by name using the search facility on the navigation bar on the left of this page.

There are a number of other sources of information about Aboriginal artists and their work. This is available through books or increasingly over the Internet through the Web sites of Aboriginal art centres and other sites. The most comprehensive printed sources are:

  • Lives of the Papunya Tula Artists” by Vivien Johnson, published by IAD Press 2008
  • The Oxford Companion to Aboriginal Art and Culture” edited by Sylvia Kleinert and Margo Neale published by OUP 2000
  • “Aboriginal Artists of the Western Desert – A Biographical Dictionary” by Vivien Johnson, published by Craftsman House 1994 (out of print)