New Works


23-864 – Gladys Bidu


Gladys Bidu
Acrylic on Canvas
36 x 46 cm: acrylic on canvas
Year: 2023

Linyji (claypan)

“This linyji story, it’s about when the old people used to be living in the desert, a long long time ago, thousands of years ago. They used to make a hole in the linyjii,, for the wilyki (seed), using the wind to separate the seed (from the husk) [winnowing]. Also when we used to be sick, old people used to wet the parna (sand/soil/earth) with the kapi (water), mix it and use on burns, or for headaches, they put it on the kata (head). Like a Band-Aid, or Panadol – pujiman way!”

– Kuru Gladys Bidu


This work depicts a linyji (claypan) within the artists’ ngurra (home Country, camp), typically represented with circular forms. Claypans were visited more often during the wet seasons as they filled with water. 

During the pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) period, 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 through real life experience and the recounting of Jukurrpa (Dreaming) narratives by name, location, quality and seasonal availability. This encyclopedic knowledge extends even to the nature and movement of arterial waterways, and sustained Martu as they travelled across their Country, hunting and gathering, visiting family, and fulfilling ceremonial obligations. They would traverse very large distances annually, visiting specific areas in the dry and wet season depending on the availability of water and the corresponding cycles of plant and animal life on which hunting and gathering bush tucker was reliant.

SKU 82247450a 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.