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Arwengerrp (Bush Turkey) by Rosie Pwerle

Artist: Rosie Pwerle
Size: 30cm x 30cm
Medium: Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Code: SP0425

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Rosie is painting the Bush Turkey story. This story is associated with the ancestral dreaming from her country, Iylenty, also known as Ahalpere.

The bush turkey, called arwengerrp (Ardeotis australis) in Rosie's language, is usually found in densely grassed areas. It is a favoured food for the aboriginal people and hunting is still carried out to this day.

Rosie says the dot work represents ‘tucker’ (food) that the bush turkey likes to eat. This tucker is a type of bush seed that Rosie pronounces as ‘alee-a-kura’. The curvilinear pattern of dot work throughout the painting represents the awelye (women’s ceremonial body paint designs). These ceremonial designs are painted onto the chest, breasts, arms and thighs for awelye. Powders may be ground from red and yellow ochre (clays), charcoal and ash then mixed with animal fats to bind as paint.

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