Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


This unit examines the history of Australian art (including Aboriginal art) largely focusing on modern times. The different schools of Australian art, from Arnhem Land to Carrolup, Heidelberg to the Kimberley, remote to regional and urban, are examined, as well as its institutional and museological reception in Australia and overseas. Major themes of the unit include (1) the schools of Aboriginal art; (2) the response of Australian art to modernity, and to schools of European art; and (3) the impact of the globalisation of the art world in the late twentieth-century on Australian art. Part of the unit is taught by an Indigenous curator and/or artist to introduce issues around indigenous exhibition and research.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 option in the History of Art major sequence
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) understand the historical and cultural contexts of Australian art; (2) apply key theoretical approaches to the discourses around Australian art; (3) understand the history of Australian art and its relationships to other areas of art history; (4) integrate visual and aesthetic analyses of artworks into historical and theoretical arguments; (5) make clear and logical arguments with theoretical underpinning and critical evaluation of the literature; and (6) have some understanding of the issues around exhibiting and researching Aboriginal art.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) research proposal; (2) research paper; and (3) oral assessment. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Darren Jorgensen
Unit rules
at least one Level 2 unit from the History of Art major sequence
VISA2266 Aboriginal Contemporary Art, VISA3300 Australian Art, HART2266 Aboriginal Contemporary Art, HART3300 Australian Art, HART2666 Australian and Aboriginal Art
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week
seminars: 2 hours per week
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.