Christmas Sale 2010
Bush Plum Dreaming by Polly Napurrula
This artwork depicts the flowers of the Bush Plum. This is a important Dreaming for Aboriginal women in central Australia.
The Bush Plum also known as ahakeye is a native shrub found throughout the drier areas of Northern and Central Australia and has great significance to Aboriginal people. The Bush Plum shrub has white flowers and small edible fruits which change colour from green through to purple and black as the fruit ripens. This is why it is often referred to as the black currant or grape. The fruit has small black seeds and women collect and distribute these seeds, scattering them across the desert. This scattering technique whether naturally or by hand is an integral part of desert life as it maintains a continued growth and harvest during the winter months.
Because of its significance as a food source, the Bush Plum is also a totem for many Aboriginal people and has an altyerre (Dreaming story) associated with it. Artists may depict the fruit at different stages which is why so many Bush Plum Dreaming artworks vary in style and colouring.
The tradition of maintaining the stories of the Bush Plum through ceremony and art is extremely important. In the modern world using paintings as a medium allows these women to fulfil their obligations while also educating non-aboriginal people as to the significance of this Dreaming. The ceremony and art associated with the Bush Plum tell of the locations of the shrub, the seasonal stages of the fruit and the ritual of harvesting and sowing.
If you would like to know more about Bush Plum Dreaming and the relationship with Aboriginal Art and culture, please read the following articles:
Title: Bush Plum Dreaming
Artist: Polly Napurrula
Medium: Acrylic on Belgian Linen
Artist Authenticity Photo: