In this painting, concentric circles represent the site of a Bush Plum tree, 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.
Black or charcoal is an important colour associated with the Bush Plum Dreaming. Often it distinguishes the bush plum from other trees or berries in symbolism due to it's inherent colour. Likewise, black lines are significant in this painting and represent songlines (or travelling lines) of the Ilkawerne people associated with this story. Wavy lines in red ochre are also travelling lines, but different - perhaps smaller tracks through the bush - and therefore are represented in a different colour.
The red ochre circles represent the bush plums that fall from the trees, and white dots are equally symbolic; depicting 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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