Bush Onion by Delores Furber


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Artist:Delores Furber
Title:Bush Onion
Medium:Acrylic on belgian linen
Size: 30 X 30cm


Delores Furber Napaltjarri was born in 1958 at Santa Teresa Community  about 1 hours drive from Alice Springs in Central Australia. Santa Teresa or the aboriginal name, Ltyentye Apurte, was set up as a Catholic Mission in 1952, so Delores has always had a strong connection to not only her Aboriginal culture and beliefs but also to the Catholic religion. Delores began painting after being inspired by observing some of the women in the community, namely her cousin, Kathleen Wallace, who is a premier artist.

The bush onion and it’s flowers are a regular feature in Delores’s paintings, and it is a significant dreaming and totem for Eastern Arrente people. The fruit can only be collected according to law by people who own this dreaming. Once the bush onion is ready to be gathered (once the top of the plant has died off during the winter) the women would skillfully and systemically dig by hand from one side to the other to remove it from the earth.

Traditional iconography and symbols are featured in all of Delores’s works and she mixes this ancient knowledge with bright colours which is captivating to see. She uses fine dotting techniques to illustrate her stories, which is common for Santa Teresa artists.

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