“Before Time Began”, a saying by Aboriginal artists which is often heard in Central Australia, has different levels of interpretation.
In the concept of the Dreaming, this phrase can be referred to in describing the process of Creation. The reference to “time” helps us understand a complex concept innate to Aboriginal culture whereby the Earth was created by the actions of our ancestors during the Dreaming.
The beginning of the contemporary art movement is just as important. Contributing to the artistic history of contemporary Aboriginal painting are several ancient works from the Arnhem Land, paintings from Papunya dating back to the early seventies to recent works from the APY Lands.