Mai ~ Bush Foods, 2019


  • 150cm x 25cm x cm
  • 2019
  • Burnt etching on plywood
  • Catalog No: 1148-WB731-19
  • Walka is Desert design and inextricably linked with Tjukurpa: the Law and way of life of Anangu (Central and Western Desert Aboriginal people). The symbols were traditionally used in cave, ground and body paintings, in story telling, teaching and signalling inheritance. Meaning of the designs depends on its subject and particular people are responsible for their re-creation and teaching according to the Tjukurpa. Highly experienced craftspeople have grown up making traditional tools and weapons under the instruction of their elders. They now apply this knowledge and express their world through art such as this. Both the dot painting and etching techniques, where walka is burnt into the wood with wire heated on a wood fire, have become Centralian traditions, evolving with the adaptation of traditional design for public display and as a depiction of Tjukurpa and landscape. This walka has been painted onto the form of a nyalpi or gum leaf. It features the bush fruits ili, munu mangata (bush fig and quandong). Kathryn says of her work: 'This makes me think about the bush tucker we collect that grows amongst these stringy barks all around us. I have burnt and painted about this bush tucker. We collect ili and mangata that grow around and in between these trees. We find them in our country around Uluru, Mutitjulu. Bush foods and the journey to collect them are very important and add to the foods we eat each day. So my stringy bark leaves show the red quandong fruit and ili, the wild fig. I have painted and burnt two leaves about this story. They can go together or on their own. It is a bush tucker story.'
  • Carving Other Sculpture Walka Board
  • Maruku Arts and Crafts