Arrkernk (Bloodwood Seed) MB042342-Lindsay Bird Mpetyane

Acrylic on Linen
90 x 90cm
Year Painted


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Arrkernk (Bloodwood Seed) MB042342-Lindsay Bird Mpetyane

This painting depicts the story of the desert bloodwood seed. Arrkernk is the Anmatyerre word for the desert bloodwood (Eucalyptus opaca), a tree growing up to 12m high with pale brown, scaly bark that grows throughout Central Australia in most habitats. This is a very important tree and has many valuable resources including an edible gall called the bush coconut, an edible white lerp scale that can be found on its leaves, pale yellow flowers which produce copious honey in good seasons, water which can be obtained from its roots, and the gum exuding from wounds on the trunk which is used for medicinal purposes. Ntang is the Anmatyerre word for seed, but Lindsay says this seed can just be called Arrkernk; the seed denoted simply by the tree it belongs to.

In this painting, the dump-dump style of dot work represents the seeds, Lindsay says, and patterns represent sacred elements of this story which is very important for Lindsay and belongs to his country, Ilkawerne. This story, its songs, dances and symbols have been passed down to Lindsay from his father and Lindsay is now a senior custodian for this story.
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Mbantua Alice Gallery