Lindsay Bird Mpetyane is a speaker for the Anmatyerre people and was born on the Bushy Park Station in 1935. Lindsay took part of his name after the owner of the station, Jim Bird. In his early years, he worked on farms as a stockman, mustering sheep. His Aboriginal name is Artola Art Nanaka Yunga Areteca. He now lives together with his wife Mavis Petyarre, also an artist, and his three daughters in the Utopia area. He was involved in the famous batik project at Utopia and was one of the few male artists who participated. The artworks from this project toured Australia and overseas from 1977 to 1987.
Lindsay Bird Mpetyane was instrumental in making acrylic paintings more important at Utopia. He is also one of the few men from the area to become a well-known artist.
Collectors and galleries throughout the world have keenly sought hispaintings. His dreamings include Prickle, Mulga Snake, Bloodwood trees, Bush Plum, Honey Ant and Woomera.
About the Painting
Lindsay paints the story of the Ahakeye. This is a very important story for Lindsay that belongs to his country, Ilkawerne. This story, its songs, dances and symbols have been passed down to Lindsay from his father. The ahakeye, called bush plum in English by Lindsay, 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.Concentric circles represent the site of the Bush Plum tree, lines stemming from the concentric circles represent song lines or travelling lines of the Ilkawerne people associated with this story, white dots represent the flower of the bush plum, coloured circles represent the bush plum fruit. U shapes equal men collecting the fruit and telling the Ilkawerne stories. Curved lines represent the impression that the grub makes when it falls out of the Bush Plum tree. Other symbols represent sacred men's symbols related to this Dreaming.