The Banana Women drive a specially painted fire truck that features an artwork called “Working Together”. Like many Aboriginal paintings, this artwork looks like a map of the land viewed from above. In it, you can see the animals, landscape, waterways and people and the connections between these elements. A traditional map can direct us to a place or even tell us about a place we’ve never been to, but Aboriginal artworks do more than that; they tell the story of a place and of the people who live there.
For further inspiration on mapping in Aboriginal artworks, view the slideshow below of paintings by Jimmy Pike. These drawings were made with texta and pen on paper. They depict his desert home, celebrating the landscape as a place rich in flora and colour. Jimmy’s drawings of waterholes, landforms and plants appear maze-like, yet they can be viewed like “maps” of the landscape where he lived. See more Aboriginal artwork on the AIATSIS website.