Born: c. 1960
Language Group: Alyawarre
Country: Atnwengerrp, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Subjects: Akarley (Bush Orange), Bush Foods, Country, Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Design), Woman's Story
Susan has been living between her mother's and father's country north east of Alice Springs. She grew up with a traditional education, learning her songs, stories and dance for her country from the senior women in her community. Today she lives on her mother's country, Atnwengerrp with her very large extended family. Susan began painting for Mbantua Gallery in 1996.
Mbantua Gallery Private Collection, Alice Springs
|2004||Mbantua Gallery USA exhibition; Knoxville, Tennessee|
Susan paints the story of the northern wild orange (Capparis umbonata), known as Akarley in Susan's language. The small slender tree of this wild orange plant grows about 3½ m high with dark bark and weeping foliage. The wild oranges hang down on long stalks, turning yellow or a red tint when ripe (most commonly during the month of February). Young fruit are often ripened in hot sand. The Akarley is generally favoured as a better fruit than others of this species by the Aboriginal people.
There is an ancient Dreamtime story of the Akarley, belonging to her country Atnwengerrp, which Susan and other women of her country share with younger generations of women and girls. Akarley is an important fruit of her land and ceremonies are performed to ensure the health and well-being of this plant, both spiritually and physically.