Language Group: Anmatyerre
Country: Ilkawerne, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen, Silk Batik
Subjects: Alpar (Rat-tail Plant) Story, Ahakeye (Bush Plum), Ahakeye at Aremela Rockhole, Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs), Waterhole
June Bird is the daughter of Ada Bird Petyarre and Tommy Bird Mpetyane (both dec). She lives with her husband and children in the Utopia Region in Central Australia.
June worked in batik during the 1980's and her work is part of the prestigious Robert Holmes á Court Collection.
Her style of painting reflects a strong influence from her mother's paintings.
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
The Holmes á Court Collection, Perth
University of Queensland, Brisbane
Anthropology Museum, St Lucia
|1985||The Second National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin|
|1991||Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs|
|1999||Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs|
|1999||My Country, Powerful Expressions, Wollondilly Galerie, Germany|
|2004||Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: Portland, Nashville, Knoxville, Hartford and Greenwich|
|2004||Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs, NT, opened by the Honorable Robert Hill|
|2005||Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs, NT, opened by the Honorable Robert Hill|
|2006||Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs, NT, opened by the Honorable Robert Hill|
The ahakeye, called bush plum in English by June, is also known as the native currant or citrus. It belongs to the canthium attenuatum shrub which grows about 3m high. This shrub produces small white flowers, deep green citrus-like leaves and the ahakeye which are black when ripe and very small. This fruit is favoured for its sweet taste and can be reconstituted in water if dry.
Women, represented by the 'U' motifs, are shown collecting Ahakeye. They carry with them their digging sticks and coolamons (carved wooden bowls) which are typical instruments used for collecting many bush foods. June also depicts the flowers of the bush plum (white dots) and background yellow dot work represents the fruit of the bush plum.