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Lindsay Bird Mpetyane

90cm x 90cm


Bush Plum Dreaming by Lindsay Bird

"Combinations of ochre colours and symbols in this painting are deeply rooted in the Bush Plum Dreaming. As black or charcoal is significant to this story, the black canvas is first painted grey to create a neutral surface.

The red ochre and charcoal lines are symbolic of the songlines (or travelling lines) of the Ilkawerne people associated with the Bush Plum Dreaming. Arrow-like symbols represent wild pigeons, who are sacred, walking across the land.

When the symbols are black they, the pigeons, are walking over the bush plums that have fallen to the ground."

The bush plums are called Ahakeye in Linday's native language Anmatyerre, or also known as the native currant or citrus. It belongs to the canthium attenuatum shrub which grows about 3 metres high. This shrub produces small white flowers, deep green citrus-like leaves and the fruit which are black when ripe and very small. This fruit is favoured for its sweet taste and can be reconstituted in water if dry.


Artist: Lindsay Bird
Skin name: Mpetyane (also spelled Mbitjana)
Language group: Anmatyerre
Country: Ilkawerne
Area: Utopia Region, Central Australia
Born: c. 1942
Read Lindsay Bird Mpetyane's full bio »

    • Medium: Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
    • Size of painting: 90cm x 90cm
    • Size of linen border: Approx 8cm
    • Background colour: Grey

    Catalogue: 38447

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    Catalogue number: 38447


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