Mulga Seed Dreamingby Clifford Tilmouth
Illustrated in this painting are concentric circles, which represent the sites where the Mulga trees are. The parallel lines indicate the branches, root systems and tracks of the men. The dots represent the seed of the Mulga tree.
Mulga seed is an important food source for Aboriginal people in Central Australia. Mulga wood is used as firewood or making digging sticks and other implements used for hunting and gathering.
Clifford Tilmouth Pungarta was born in 1972 and is from Utopia Community, which is a small Aboriginal Community approximately three hours from Alice Springs in Central Australia. He is an Anmatyerre speaker, which is one of two language group who live in the area. His Dreamings include the Mulga Seed and Honey Ant.
Clifford paints for cultural and recreational purposes. He is not a career artist but rather enjoys art depiction and began painting as a way to share his culture and Dreamings. The majority of his works were produced in the 2003/2004. I do not believe that Clifford is still producing artworks any longer. He is married to Rosemary Bird Mpetyane whose father is Paddy Bird, both of which have produced art in the past. Ada Bird Petyarre, a famous and influential Utopian artist, sits at the head of this family, and she has passed down and shared her understanding of Dreamings and painting techniques with her kin. Clifford and Rosemary have two children and both continue to live in Utopia Community. Clifford comes for a unique community which has produced some of Australian’s most prestigious Indigenous Artists and the sharing of painting techniques as well as Dreaming stories mixes the traditional with the modern.
Clifford typically paints his country, the Honey Ant, and the Mugla seed and tree. His style is quite traditional using a fine dotting technique which is used in traditional men’s stories which belong to his country. He enjoys teaching his Dreaming stories through his art and the final product is a well executed piece.
The artworks which Central Art commissioned by Clifford date back to 2003 and relate to his Mulga Seed Dreaming. Clifford uses colour schemes which can be found naturally in the desert using ochre rocks. These colours are traditionally used by Aboriginal people to paint (particularly during ceremonies when the skin is decorated). The soft ochre rocks are ground down into a powder and water added to create a natural paint. Clifford uses traditional iconography to depict the Mulga Tree and its root system spreading through the desert. The men travel along and collect the seeds whilst out hunting. The Mulga Tree is an important resource for Aboriginal people providing important nourishment, firewood, and crafting hunting implements and woomera’s.
Certificate of Provenance
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Important copyright notice
The Copyright of all images and documentation remains with Sabine Haider. The Australian Copyright Act protects all artists from unauthorised copying by giving control over original works of art to the artist by law. However depending on the use proposed, Sabine Haider from Central Art – Aboriginal Art Store can facilitate reproduction of works with the permission of the artist as we have developed close relationships over the years with many individual painters and craftspeople.
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