Aboriginal artist Shorty Jangala Robertson now on site

Three new artworks have been added on site.  This amazing desert artist, who lives and paints at Yuendumu lived the life as a child of a desert nomad and had next to no contact with white-man until the Conniston massacre.  Shorty's father took him and his family to Mt Theo to hide from being short, when his father died his mother took him to Yuendumu. more about this artist

Shorty's paintings have been exhibited both nationally and internationally at numerous exhibitions, he is one of the true icons of Australian Aboriginal art.

see paintings by this artist


It's really scarey how fast the end of year is approaching.  But the Festive Season is a great time for family and friends to gather. 

If you want somewhere really special to host your next party then the gallery on Level 4 at The Hilton is really perfect.  With heaps of room, lots of wonderful art to look at, not to mention outstanding views.  In the evening the sunset looking out across the bay is just beautiful.

The way the gallery is setup hosting a small intimate cocktail party or a gathering for up to 200 people is possible.  With affordable rates and catering that can be organized thru the kitchen at The Hilton, it's well worth considering.

Feel free to drop by or contact the Gallery Manager Lukas directly on 0419 560 146 to discuss your needs.

You can email Lukas at  lukas@reddesertdreamings.com.au 



RED DESERT DREAMINGS GALLERY is located on Level 4 of THE HILTON, SOUTH WHARF on the Yarra's edge in Melbourne's newest dining , shopping and entertainment precinct.
This great space with its beautiful array of fine Aboriginal Art is available for day or night-time hire for private functions at modest room hire rates. The gallery is suitable for small, intimate gatherings to cocktail parties for up to 200 people. Catering to suit your requirements can be provided by THE HILTON.
Use the link below or to register interest including function date, time and number of guests.  Otherwise contact Gallery Manager Lukas directly on 0419 560 146 or at lukas@reddesertdreamings.com.au  to discuss your needs or arrange an inspection and quotation.

Language groups of Aboriginal people

Aboriginal families and groups have different names for the areas of country where they have lived for generations, they do not go by the State names as we know it.

Aboriginal people also go by the name of that area where they and their families have lived.

If we go by each State as we know it, the equivalent area would also stretch beyond those boundaries.

Victoria - Koorie

New South Wales - Koori, Goorie, Coorie, Murri, Koorie

South Australia - Nunga, Nyungar, Nyoongah

West Australia - Nyungar, Nyoongar

Northern Territory - Yolngu (Arnhem Land or Top End) Anangu (Centre)

Queensland - Murri

Tasmania - Koori, Palawa


Aboriginal people also will refer to themselves and their families by the areas of country that they have lived in for generations.

Bundjalung - Yamba, Grafton, Gold Coast

Dunghutti/Thungutti - Kempsey

Eora - sydney, La Perouse

Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay/Gomeroi - Goondiwindi, Tamworth, Lightning Ridge

Tharawal/Dharawal - Woolongong, Kiama

Wiradjuri - Gilgandra, Dubbo, Wagga Wagga, Bathurst


It's a great time to purchase Aboriginal art ...  Red Desert Dreamings Gallery is offering a lot of fantastic paintings at a considerable discount.

If you have a chance visit the gallery at level 4 at the Hilton Hotel at South Wharf. 

There is a huge selection of Paddy Fordhams on display and if you're a fan of this artist then a visit to view his works will not disappoint.  Paddy's works depict the good spirits and the protector spirits.  He was there during World War 1 there are paintings on display that show the aeroplanes landing during the war, the coming of white man to his community and the various tools and animals that were an important part of this artists' life.

The vast selection of paintings ON SPECIAL represent  works from many artists, so  if you don't find something that suits your needs,   please ask, we're always interested to hear from you and will try and find a painting that fits your design and budget requirements.

Aboriginal Art Thrives in the Top End

Visual Arts

Aboriginal art thrives at Top End of the market

Tommy Watson

Tommy Watson with one of his grand-scale works of art in his country near Alice Springs. `Everything is on a big scale out there in the desert,' says arts adviser Ken McGregor. Picture: Steve Strike Source: TheAustralian

MENTION Aboriginal art these days and you're likely to hear a lot of doom and gloom.

The global financial crisis, Labor's resale royalty scheme and its changes to superannuation really knocked the bottom out of the market, dealers say.

But not the top, it seems.

In galleries around the country, high value works, often large ones, are selling swiftly.

"There's a bevy of artists whose work is trading at prices above what we saw prior to the downturn -- I would say at record prices for these artists in private sales," Russell Roberts, director of Piermarq Art Advisory in Sydney, says.

Respected art valuer Brenda Colahan thinks sales have improved markedly in the past six months.

"The top end is finding a market, perhaps privately, not at auction," she says.

The most popular works tend to be by elderly desert artists, people who grew up in the bush before contact with Western civilisation.

"People recognise there's a direct association between these works and a culture that's 40,000 years old and potentially coming to an end," Roberts says.

Ken McGregor, an author and art adviser, argues many of the best paintings now being produced are monumental or very large. "Everything is on a big scale out there in the desert," he says.

"There's something expansive that really lends itself to huge work.

"Some of these paintings are really breathtaking." McGregor curated a show of works by the desert artist Tommy Watson at Metro Gallery in Melbourne, including one five-metre piece priced at more than $800,000.

One of the biggest proponents of monumental works is Chris Simon of Yanda Aboriginal Art, who represents Watson and looks after him while he paints.

"The downturn during the GFC was probably the best thing that could've happened to my business," he says.

"It got rid of all of the small dealers who encouraged artists to paint more than they were capable of doing to high quality."

He says he has since been able to coax the best artists to produce fewer, larger works that he hopes will provide a cultural record.

There has long been a tension between private dealers such as Simon and the government-run art centres that dot the outback and keep many artists employed.

Desert Mob, a highly regarded exhibition of work primarily from art centres, opened in Alice Springs this week. Art centre works tend to dominate competitions and public gallery shows.

McGregor says even though many art centre operators are his friends, he thinks they don't always focus enough on quality.

"The best work is really being produced outside art centres," he says.

Dealers say most of the top end works, selling for prices from $10,000 to $130,000 and up, are going into private collections in Australia and overseas.

McGregor thinks more should be going to institutions.


Spectatular paintings

If you want to see some of the most outstanding paintings ever done, then the works by Tommy Watson would have to be on your "must see" list. 



The incredible attention to detail is reflected in every painting created. The fusion of colour, texture and form allow you to experience his country as it's depicted on canvas.



Visit us in Melbourne

Red Desert Dreamings Gallery is located on the Yarra River, level 4 at the Hilton Hotel.  

If you're interested in Aboriginal art, a serious collector or just want to learn more about our amazing indigenous culture then please come and visit us.  The art gallery is open throughout the week and there is someone in the gallery most of the time, but if you want to be certain a gallery member is there, give us a call, as we're always happy to talk with you about our favourite topic, Australian Aboriginal art and culture.

The gallery has a huge collection of Aboriginal art, it was started by Kevin and Jenny Winward, both serious art collectors.  Whilst the gallery does specialize in art from the centre and western desert regions of Australia, it also has an excellent collection of Aboriginal art from Arnhemland or Top End Art (as it's often known by), art from the Tiwi Is as well as the Kimberley in the far west of Australia.

The Dalai Lama's visit to Red Desert Dreamings gallery with Kevin, Jenny, Lucas and Sam Winward.

Red Desert Dreamings supports the artists and their communities.  Aboriginal art has become popular world-wide helping many artists who want to remain in their community earn their living thru art.

Red Desert Dreamings holds  art exhibitions regularly, join our mailing list if you want to be advised when they're on.  Apart from the gallery where Aboriginal art is exhibited throughout the year and open 7 days a week, we often take over the foyer at the Hilton Hotel, where we're located, so you can browse many of our artworks there.

Artists such as Ronnie Tjampitjinpa, Clifford Possum, Mitjili, Minnie Pwerle, Turkey Tolson and Walangkura all are represented at Red Desert Dreamings, old masters that hold a special place in a serious art collector or investor's heart.  These senior elders of the Aboriginal desert mob helped to put Aboriginal art on the world map and some are still alive and painting.

Amongst the rising stars of the Aborigianal art world are Tarisse and Sarrita King whose contemporary works depict the Dreamtime stories going back over 40,000 years.  The works by these two sisters are still very much in the "affordable" price bracket for most purchasers. 

Many collectors are now enthusiastically purchasing these two artists' works.  Their paintings show knowledge passed down to them by their father and go back thousands of years, their paintings are fully resolved, but definately have that contemporary edge that bridge the gap between traditional Aboriginal art and modern day paintings.   The future for these two sister's is looking extremely bright.

If you're after a special painting for your home, office, boardroom or perhaps wedding gift or something special for an overseas guest then Red Desert Dreamings can certainly help you.   We not only have an art gallery full of amazing works, but also a stockroom with many more paintings waiting to be appreciated by new owners.

Traditional Aboriginal Art

Aboriginal people traditionally painted on rock, on the body and in the sand  to tell the stories of their ancestors and their creation stories.

Aboriginal Rock Art

Aboriginal rock paintings appear on cave walls all over Australia.  The best-known are in the Kimberley area of West Australia.  This is probably the oldest art form.  The Wandjina, the ultimate creator,  hunting scenes and the Bradshaw figures or Mimi Spirits are found on many cave walls going back over 40,000 years.  This art form tells us about the activities, the spiritual beliefs and the social activity of the people of the time.


Aboriginal Bark Paintings

Painted on the bark harvested from trees.  The bark is first soaked in water and then smoked to create a flat shape for painting.  Bark was also used to make everything from  baskets to canoes.  Most bark works come from Arnhemland and northern West Australia.


Aboriginal Dot Paintings

These paintings come from the centre and western desert areas where dots, using acrylic paint are used to create and depict plants, animals, waterholes and land forms.  Originally done in ochre's the Aboriginal desert artists moved onto acrylic paints when they were introduced to them by the missionaries. 

Aboriginal Aerial paintings

 Many paintings of country are viewed from above, "bird's-eye view".  Painted by the artist sitting on the ground, they have been created with an intimate knowledge of land and tell the Dreamtime creation stories of the plants, animals, earth cycles and landscape.


Aboriginal Carvings and sculpture

Weapons such as spears for fishing, hunting and fighting were created out of stone and wood.  Coolamuns, baskets for food gathering and small animal and bird figures  were also carved out of the local wood.  Necklaces and other adornments worn for ceremony were made out of feathers and seeds.  Bush string to bind things together was made out of fibres from plants.  These fibres were also used to weave baskets.



The traditional wind instruments from North East Arnhemland were created out of a tree branch that was hollowed out by termites,  They were cut down and shaped to a long hollow instrument used in ceremony by the men.



Symbols were drawn in the sand as maps showing the young initiates where to find waterholes, food and teach about hunting and how to recognize animal tracks.

Some very elaborate sand paintings were used for ceremony, they took days and days to create and once the ceremony was over were destroyed.



Guess who called into the gallery this week??

Wonderful surprise to catch up with Tarisse King when she called into the gallery this week with her family.  Her little girl has certainly grown a lot and still as active as ever.

 Tarisse and her sister, Sarrita, are known for their paintings depicting the Earth cycles of this country.  

Tarisse's, Pink Salts, paintings (see pictured below) show the pink hues of the minerals that come up from the ground found in many of the lakes between Adelaide and Darwin.   The detail each work is extraordinary and the emotion, knowledge and love of the land, plus the skill of Tarisse with a paint brush is making her works more and more in demand by art lovers and collectors worldwide. 

If you are considering a painting, where the value of each work is still at an affordable price, then Tarisse's paintings are certainly worth looking at.


Their popularity has grown over the past year and this hard-working artist will, I'm sure, be painting up a storm for many years to come. 

Tarisse is an Aboriginal painter who takes her work extremely seriously and is constantly evolving, creating exciting contemporary art pieces that are fully resolved as only an artist who has the skill and knowledge of their subject can.  If you're after an investment piece now is certainly the time to buy.