Language Group: Eastern Anmatyerre/Southern Alyawarre
Country: Ilkawerne, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Subjects: Tyankern (Mulga Berries), Ahakeye (Bush Plum), Ntang Artety (Mulga Seed), Utnea (Carpet Snake), Alpar (Rat-tail Plant), Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs)
Kaureen is the daughter of artists Kevin Bird and Marie Ryder. She was born in Alice Springs in 1996. She grew up at Mulga Bore and attended Mulga Bore School. Kaureen began painting for Mbantua Gallery in 2018. She was watching her parents and aunties (Tanya Bird, Maggie Bird, Alvira Bird and Rosemary Bird) painting, and thought 'I would like to do that too!', then started painting.
Kaureen's stories has been passed onto her from her father's ancestors. Her stories are associated with her country, Ilkawerne. Kaureen is married and has two children.
The linear designs in Kaureen's painting represent Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs) for Tyankern (mulga berries). These designs are painted onto the chest, breasts, arms and thighs. Powders ground from ochre (clays), charcoal and ash are used as body paint and applied with a flat stick with soft padding. The women sing the songs associated with their Awelye as each woman takes her turn to be 'painted-up'.
The Tyankern is a very important story for Kaureen that belongs to her country, Ilkawerne. This story, its songs, dances and symbols have been passed down to Kaureen from her father. The Tyankern is a sweet edible berry that belongs to a type of mistletoe (Lysiana spp.) found growing on the mulga tree. In the Dreamtime these two plants are one.
Dot work symbolizes the different colours that the Tyankern go through during maturity. Concentric circles are symbols representing this sacred story. Kaureen also depicts coolamons (carved wooden bowls) and digging sticks which are typical instruments used for collecting many bush foods.