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"Budgerigar Dreaming" by Ruth Napaltjarri Stewart

Ruth Napaltjarri Stewart

"Budgerigar Dreaming" by Ruth Napaltjarri Stewart


  • 76cm by 61cm in size
  • Acrylic paint on linen

Ruth Napaltjarrie Stewart was born around 1940 near Coniston, New South Wales. She remembers with nostalgia her life in the Australian outback with family. She has held various positions in the Yuendumu community, sometimes on a volunteer basis. She has been painting since the mid or late 1980s. She is the younger sister of Paddy Stewart Japaljarri, an artist and an important insider who played an important role in the creation of the art movement at Yuendumu. 

She is the custodian of sites in the Mt Allan area. 

In this painting, she paints the common Budgerigar Dreaming or Budgie footprints. Budgies are small green and yellow parrots, with black barring and a small patch of blue on the cheek. The male has a dark blue cere (skin at the base of the upper mandible surrounding the nostrils). In the female, this is brownish when breeding and light blue otherwise. Young Budgerigars are similar to the adult bird but are duller and have a dark brown eye (which is white or yellow in adults). Ruth paints the footprints of these loveable birds, each colour representing the myriad of colours that the budgie can have on their feathers. The footprints are making their way across the land searching for food.


  • Museum of Mankind, The British Museum 
  • South Australian Museum, Adelaide 
  • Australian Museum, Sydney 
  • Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth
  • Art Gallery and Museums, Kelvingrove, Glasgow, Scotland 
  • National Museum of African and Oceanic Arts, Paris, France 
  • Tim and Vivien Johnson 
  • Private Collections