Artist: Michelle Lewis
Size: 150cm x 200cm
Medium: Acrylic on Linen
Story from the certificate of authenticity:
Michelle's father's country is tjala tjukurpa (honey ant dreaming). Michelle and her family still visit this country where she draws special attention to the natural elements on the land which are then represented in her paintings.
"I am painting the landscape from above, as you might see it from an airplane or as a bird looking down. It is beautiful country both from on the ground and up above".
When Michelle creates her work how the tjala (honeyants) tunnel through the sandy soil as well as about the waterholes, the assemblages of trees and shrubs and the country that is "quiet" (empty).
Tjala or Honey Ants are found about a metre underground beneath Mulga trees.The honey Ant tunnels that lead down to the ant's nests are called nyinantu. The Honey Ant larvae are called ipilyka-ipilyka. When the Pitantjatjara go looking for Honey Ants they look for the drill holes under the trees. When they see them, they shovel and dig down following the tunnels to find the Honey Ants inside. Honey Ants are a highly favoured food source. They suck the honey-like liquid from the abdomen of the Honey Ant. The story of the Honey Ant is told across the Northern Territory into South Australia. The Honey Ant is an important link between their mythology and inter-dependence on the environment.
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