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margaret golder

"Bush Plum Dreaming" by Margaret Golder Kngwarreye


Commission Painting

Size: 130 x 95cm

Acrylic on Canvas.

About the Artist

Margaret Golder Kngwarreye comes from Utopia Community in Central Australia. Utopia is a well-known Aboriginal Community that has produced some of Australia’s most talented and highly sought-after contemporary Aboriginal artists, including the likes of Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Minnie Pwerle, and the Petyarre sisters.

Margaret is not a career artist however enjoys the cultural connection she gets when she does complete a painting. Central Art’s website features one of her “Sugar Bag Seed” paintings which is a topographical view of the various bush seeds which grow in the region of Utopia. The women will gather and grind the seeds to make flour for the damper or boil the seeds for Bush Medicine.

Margaret is the mother of Janet Golder Kngwarreye and a talented emerging artist. She is married to Sammy Pitjara who is also an artist.

About the Painting

Margaret paints the Bush Plum Dreaming. This is a big story that spreads right across the western and central deserts from Lajamanu and Warlpiri country to the Utopia homelands.

The Bush Plum Dreaming or Creation Story from the Utopia region goes like this: In the Dreamtime winds blew from all directions carrying the bush plum seed to the artists’ ancestral lands. The first bush plum of the Dreamings grew and bore fruit and dropped more seeds. Many winds blew the seeds all over the Dreaming lands.

To ensure the continued fruiting of this plant each season, the Aboriginal people pay homage to the spirit of the bush plum by painting about it and recreating it in their ceremonies through song and dance. The patterns in the paintings celebrate the Bush Plum work on many levels: they represent the fruit of the plant, its leaves, and flowers, and also the body paint designs that are associated with it during the ceremony.

The bush plum is a popular variety of bush tucker that is only found at certain times of the year. It is found throughout most of the Utopia region and as far west as Lajamanu. Sadly, it has declined in abundance due to the grazing of introduced animals, particularly cattle and rabbits. The bush plum fruits in the summer after rain and is an important food source, even though not all the plum is edible. The plums can be collected when ripe and immediately eaten, or they can be dried and eaten later.