Acrylic on linen
90 x 120 cm
Raymond’s painting depicts Emu Dreaming, of which he is a custodian and spiritual ancestor.
“(The) emu it’s a big encyclopaedia collection, where books belong to language groups, chapters belong to all these clan groups and we’re custodian of one chapter, so we are not allowed to paint any of the other stories , we’re a part of a big encyclopaedia collection. We are a link in the chain.”
When the emus came into Ngarleyekwerlang, they came into contact with a large group of bush turkeys who had hidden a lot of bush tomatoes in trenches within the land. The emus had been travelling for a long time, and after arriving in Ngarleyekwerlang, wanted to find and eat food. However, when the emu’s found the bush tomatoes, the turkeys wouldn’t share and a fight began. The tomatoes were scattered across the countryside, marking the landscape. This artwork is an aerial view of that land.
The work features lines of black on a background of sienna, arranged in intricate circular shapes of different sizes depicting the tomatoes scattered across the landscape. Blue dots are painted around these shapes, spanning the canvas to represent the emu eggs.
Raymond’s use of colour is bright and vibrant. When he uses these colours he’s thinking “about the energy that allowed the emus to travel and drag the songlines with them. It is a period of creation where the dust, storms and sun were created. Every new life has a songline and this work is made up of many.
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