Bush Plum

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The subject of the painting is Dreaming of the Wild Plum and the land of Antangker - Polly Knagle's country located in the Utopia region, approximately 250 km north-east of Alice Springs. Bush plums (fruits of Santalum lanceolatum, a true sandalwood), black and small, are very nutritious and rich in vitamin C. They are important for the Alyawarre women who, together with their children, also collect bush onions (yalka) in the summer and observe ceremonies. They then paint symbols of Amweketa (bush plum) on their bodies, sing and dance.

Polly Kngale (1940 - 2020) was one of the senior custodians of this Dreaming. To present this story, she used her characteristic technique: she dipped her brush in paints of different colours, mixing them on the canvas. The land is presented from a bird's eye view, and the painting also shows the changes of a bush plum plant depending on the seasons at different stages of growth.

Polly Kngale's style is impressionistic and lyrical. The artist speaks a little English and signs her paintings with a cross. Her works are included in Australian and international collections.