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Bush Plum Dreaming by Lindsay Bird

Artist: Lindsay Bird Mpetyane
Size: 45cm x 45cm
Medium: Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
Code: 51313

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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.

Parallel lines represent songlines (or travelling lines) of the Ilkawerne people associated with this story. Wavy lines in black are also travelling lines, but different - perhaps smaller tracks through the bush - and therefore are represented in a different colour. Black or charcoal is an important colour associated with the Bush Plum Dreaming. Often it distinguishes the Bush Plum Dreaming from other Dreaming in symbolism due to the inherent colour of its fruit.

The black circles represent the bush plums that have fallen from the trees, and white dots are equally symbolic that are found framing the black symbols; 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
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: 45cm x 45cm
    • Size of linen border: Approx 8cm
    • Background colour: Grey