Tim's Bush Trip - 2nd May 2023 - with Simone Edney

Tim's Bush Trip - 2nd May 2023 - with Simone Edney

Posted by Tim Jennings on 2023 Jun 08th

On Tuesday May 2nd 2023 our Alice Springs Gallery Floor manager Simone Edney and myself departed Alice Springs on a Utopia Region 650km round trip. We were off to distribute canvas and paints to the artists and to collect paintings they had finished. It’s a long trip and usually a pretty interesting one - it certainly was for Simone who hadn’t done this particular journey before.

The weather was great - not like those awful hot days in the summer months!! It was also relatively quiet - quite a few artists were away visiting family elsewhere. Also, quite a lot had made the journey into Alice Springs a week before and dropped off their paintings at our gallery.

Our first stop was at Camel Camp where Angelina Ngale, Elizabeth Mpetyane, Denisa Hatches and Motorbike Paddy were all waiting for us with completed canvases. The ladies were all friendly and chatty and we took quite a few photos. We paid them for their paintings and gave out more canvas and paint to keep them occupied over the next few weeks.

Angelina singing with Simone

Motorbike Paddy waited patiently nearby but he was quieter than usual. His youngest son, Andy, said that Paddy hadn’t been feeling well and had lost sight in his left eye - "but his other one is good" he said! Usually when we visit, Paddy will quietly sing his Dreamtime songs when he comes up to the car and often have a giggle about something (he’s a real giggler!). And you can’t help but giggle along with him! But today he was feeling a bit off, as we all do from time to time. He had managed though to complete 6 smallish linens that I had given him over the past couple of months.

Motorbike Paddy holding up a selection of his paintings that we collected

They were his Dreamtime stories. Very simple in presentation but of important significance to him and his traditional ancestral life. I loved all of them! In his earlier years he also had another important life role - he was a Stockman on cattle stations. This involved lots of responsibilities, including mustering bullocks, and eventually he was promoted to be in charge of the maintenance and upkeep of all the bores. He was given a motorbike as his means of transportation and was aptly named Motorbike Paddy by his family and friends! But more on this in the not to distant future… 

I asked Paddy if he wanted to do any more. He said that he did so I gave him 4 more smallish ones and it’s up to him as to what his subject matter will be. Andy said that painting is good for him and makes him happy!

From there we headed off to Atnwengerrp (Noongi) Outstation some 50kms further on. En route we were waved down by Dinny Kunoth and his family. Dinny had a nice 120 x 120cm painting finished and he also wanted some more canvas.

Dinny with his canvas

Then onwards to Noongi! I think that it was the quietest that I can ever remember. Just the 3 Hunter sisters as well as Emily, Lizzie and Janie. They all had some beautiful paintings though!

Jessie holding one of her beautiful new pieces

Next we were off to Rocket Range Outstation and caught up with Katie Kemarre, Michelle and Lily Lion and Carmen Jones. We all had a good chat, collected quite a few small paintings and then off to Kurrajong Outstation to catch up with the 'Payne mob'! Only to get there and be told that they were all away!! That happens out there so not a problem. The time then was 3.22pm and we headed off home, arriving back in Alice around 6.30pm.

It was probably one of the quietest days I can recall but it was still good. Simone loved it, we chatted lots about the artists, their art, their families and histories. I’ve forgotten more than I can remember!! ?? ?

Take care.