Unlike many of Lindsay's Bush Plum Dreaming paintings, this piece is only painted with red ochre and white paint. Black or charcoal is an important colour associated with the Bush Plum Dreaming and usually found adorning his Bush Plum Dreaming paintings. Often it distinguishes the Bush Plum Dreaming from other Dreaming in symbolism due to the inherent colour of its fruit.
On the flip side, Lindsay says that yellow ochre is often the distinguishing colour for the Mulga Seed Dreaming, another very significant Dreaming belonging to Lindsay's country. The lack of yellow ochre, therefore, in this painting can distinguish it as Bush Plum Dreaming.
The centre line in this painting is symbolic of songlines (or travelling lines) of the Ilkawerne people associated with this story. Concentric circles represent the site of the Bush Plum trees, an important tree because of the berries it produces. This fruit is favoured for its sweet taste and, like many desert berries, can be reconstituted in water if dry. The red ochre circles represent the fruit that has fallen from the trees.
Men are depicted through U shaped symbols,and white dots are equally symbolic in the background as they depict the white flowers that grow on the Bush Plum tree.
This story, its songs, dances and symbols have been passed down to Lindsay from his father.
Artist: Lindsay Bird
Skin name: Mpetyane (also spelled Mbitjana)
Language group: Anmatyerre
Area: Utopia Region, Central Australia
Born: c. 1942
Read Lindsay Bird Mpetyane's full bio »
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