Indigenous Australians have used European art materials from the earliest days of European settlement. Many of these drawings feature images found in traditional body painting and rock engravings.
In the late 19th century, artists such as William Barak, Mickey of Ulladulla and Tommy McRae depicted both ceremonial subjects and everyday activities. For Barak, these works were a way of recording the customs of his people
From the 1960s, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists embraced printmaking. The first prints were by the land rights activist Kevin Gilbert, and such political themes were a feature of many prints of the 1970s and 1980s. Artists prints are now one of the most widely distributed forms of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art.