Skip to content

Collection

All

Search

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art

View More:


Title

A rare Sydney shield


Artist

Unknown

Australia


About

Broad shields and parrying shields are the two types of shields made by Aboriginal people of south-eastern Australia.
The term ‘broad’ refers to the flat face of the shield. They are sometimes called ‘spear’ shields as they are understood to have been used to deflect spears. South-east broad shields are created using two techniques: worked from the inner bark of a tree or carved from a solid piece of wood. The former involves cutting the bark off a tree, paring it down and shaping it, then adding a cane handle; the latter is made with a single piece of wood that has the handle cut into it.
Shields used in performance would often be painted with natural pigments, remnants of which can still be seen on many today, such as the elegant vertical and horizontal red lines, painted over white ochre on this work. The majority of broad shields were collected in the 1800s and early 1900s, and mostly without the artist’s name being recorded.


Details


Place where the work was made

Sydney New South Wales Australia


Cultural origin

South-east region


Media category

Sculpture


Materials used

natural pigments on wood, cane handle


Dimensions

82.5 x 31.0 cm


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

A Sydney Modern acquisition, purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery of New South Wales Foundation 2018


Location

Not on display


Accession number

236.2018


Artist information

Unknown

Works in the collection

527


Place

Where the work was made
Sydney