New Works


23-1004 – Gladys Bidu


1 in stock

Gladys Bidu

46 x 61 cm: acrylic on canvas
Year: 2023

Pitu (Separation Well) – Kuru Gladys Bidu

“I paint Pitu because my father come[s] from Pitu and all the rest of the family, they belong to there. Family hear the stories all the time from Jakayu [Biljabu]. It’s their connection to that place. All the old people were walking through that area, aunty Jakayu was born there. It’s a sad story, hers. We [went] there… to see it again. It’s a long, long way from Punmu. All the other family [saw] where their family is from and where they belong to.”

–       Kuru Gladys Bidu

Pitu (Separation Well) forms part of Kuru’s ngurra (home Country, camp) through her father. It is a significant cultural site and large soak located yulparirra (south) of Wuranu (Canning Stock Route Well 29) and Kulilu rockhole and soak. As a site where fresh water was available all year, Pitu was an important camp and a meeting place for Kartujarra and Manyjilyjarra people during the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) era. At this time, knowledge of water sources was critical for survival, and today Martu Country is still defined in terms of the location and type of water. Each of the hundreds of claypans, rockholes, waterholes, soaks and springs found in the Martu desert homelands is known by name, location, quality and seasonal availability through real life experience and the recounting of Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narratives. 

Soaks, or soakwaters, derive their name from the manner in which their waters generally seep into the sand from below stores, sometimes as part of an ephemeral river or creek. Soaks were an especially important source of water during the pujiman era, being the most dependable water source in times of drought. Water was obtained from soaks by scooping away the sand with a piti (timber bowls used for carrying food and water) until clear water gathered at the base of the hole, sometimes at a depth of several metres. Pitu is also surrounded by shrubs that need to be cleared to access its waters.

SKU 82252581a Category Tag

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Martumili Artists acknowledges the Nyiyaparli and Martu people as the Traditional Owners of the land we live and work on. We also acknowledge the Traditional Owners throughout our country and our Elders; past, present and emerging.