This painting depicts elements associated with the Ahakeye (Bush Plum) story, a very important story for Lindsay that belongs to his country, Ilkawerne. This story, its songs, dances and symbols have been passed down to Lindsay from his father.
The ahakeye, called bush plum in English by Lindsay, is also known as the native currant or citrus. It belongs to the canthium attenuatum shrub which grows about 3m high. This shrub produces small white flowers, deep green citrus-like leaves and the ahakeye which are black when ripe and very small. This fruit is favoured for its sweet taste and can be reconstituted in water if dry.
In this painting, concentric circles in the centre represent the site of the bush plum tree. Parallel lines stemming from the concentric circles represent song lines or travelling lines of the Ilkawerne people associated with this story. White dots represent the flower of the bush plum.
Artist: Lindsay Bird
Skin name: Mpetyane (also spelled Mbitjana)
Language group: Anmatyerre
Area: Utopia Region, Central Australia
Born: c. 1942