Bush Seeds – Water Dreaming

4 500 


The painting depicts the myth of collecting seeds and water, and the land where Helen Rubuntja comes from, located in the Utopia region, 250 km northeast of Alice Springs. Wild plums, melons and grass seeds were the staple food of the Alyawarre people for centuries. For this reason, they are important to women of this tribe. The seeds were ground into flour from which bread called damper was baked. In summer, after the rain, women accompanied by children collect fruit and perform rituals through which they strengthen their connection with the earth. They then paint their bodies in Amweketa patterns, sing and dance.

Helen Rubuntja (born 1965), one of the senior custodians of this Ceremony, presents it using the technique of delicate dotting and color variations. The land is taken from a bird's eye view, showing changes in vegetation depending on the seasons. Minimalist dots represent plants in various stages of growth, and swirling lines represent flowing water.

The artist's style is minimalist and lyrical. Her works are included in Australian and international collections.