How to place indigenous artwork

This article discusses how to place indigenous artwork. To place a piece of indigenous art in your home, it’s important to consider the artist’s story. Does their work reflect a certain style or genre that you want to recognize? How important is it for your space that the piece be authentic and well-crafted? Is there an artist whose vision aligns with yours? If so, consider how best to display their work: a gilded frame or black velvet may be appropriate for some works; others might prefer something more minimalistic.

Work with intent

For centuries, Aboriginal artists have been creating intricate designs for ceremonial purposes in order to connect with their ancestors and express themselves spiritually through indigenous art. Some contemporary Aboriginal artists continue this tradition while also producing works of great beauty, others use non-traditional techniques such as printmaking or photography. Regardless of what kind of artwork you choose (or whether it has any spiritual significance), make sure that its purpose aligns with yours before hanging it on your walls.

Showcase the piece alongside

When you’re planning where to hang your artwork, think about whether or not the piece will stand out in a good way. Will it complement the rest of your decor or clash with it? If you have a lot of bright colours and patterns in your home, for example, an earthy piece is going to stand out more because it contrasts with the other elements. On the other hand, if you want something that blends in with what’s already there without distracting from them too much, then a piece like this might work better.

A statement about your personal style

Personal style is subjective and can change over time. If you’re not sure which direction to take, it’s best to start with the latter; this way, if the style doesn’t match up with the space or décor of your home after a few months, it’s easy enough to get rid of it.

Educational art tends to be more expensive than decorative pieces but can have its benefits like such pieces often come with information about their origin and artist on display frames or in printed materials (this can make buying as much more worthwhile).

How will the art be displayed?

Will it be in a group or alone? If in a group, how many other items will also be on display?

Where will it be hung? How high or low? Is there a window nearby that would allow light to hit the artwork at an angle that makes sense for its style and subject matter (if applicable)? Are there any windows nearby that may cause glare on your new piece of art (again, if applicable)? Does it need to be framed first before hanging? If so, how large are those frames going to be and how much space will they take up on your wall once everything is complete?

Honour your culture and give it prominence

Indigenous artwork is more than just a beautiful piece. It signifies your cultural history, the traditions and values of your people, and your personal relationship to the land. Indigenously made art is also an important part of contemporary culture, as it tells stories about modern life.


Indigenous artwork is a wonderful way to bring indigenous culture into your home while honouring its importance in shaping who you are today. To do so successfully, however, it’s important that you choose artworks with care and display them properly in order to maximise their effect on visitors, both those from outside or within indigenous communities.