Angelina Pwerle – Bush plum

Angelina Pwerle – Bush plumBuilding on the already significant representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art held within its collection, ACU recently embarked on an acquisition program for leading examples of this important genre. Reflecting great spirituality and a sense of place and wonder, Indigenous art maintains a position of great relevance to the cultural life of the University.

The Bush Plum Dreaming or Creation Story has become an increasingly popular form of the genre, and has been represented in the art of the Utopia region of the Northern Territory since the 1980s. Invoking the stories of dreamtime winds distributing bush plum seeds throughout the ancestral lands, and the cyclical fruiting and seeding that has ensued, these artworks pay homage to this fundamental concept through song, dance, ceremony and painting.

The painting Bush plum (15 106) 2006, by internationally recognised contemporary Australian artist Angelina Pwerle is a recent and important addition to the University’s collection. Acrylic on canvas, this stunning work has been realised by using a fine stick to create thousands of dots of yellow and orange ochres. The Creation Story has been given varied forms of expression but is most often characterised by intense areas of starlike dotting using a clear and refined palette. The multi-dimensional textured surface gives the work a shimmering and ephemeral quality that characterises the dreamtime. Possessing an uplifting and meditative quality that embodies the spiritual reflection of her Indigenous culture, Pwerle’s work draws deeply on the notion of divine creation and the role of the cosmos above charting the country below.

Working from the remote communities of Camel Camp, Artlore and Rocket Range Camp,  Pwerle has risen to national and international prominence. Her paintings have been acquired by many significant public and private collections including the National Gallery of Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria. Bush plum (15 106) is prominently placed at the Brisbane Campus.

Caroline Field
Curator, ACU Art Collection

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