New Works


24-479 – Gladys Bidu


1 in stock

Gladys Bidu
Acrylic on Canvas
30 x 30 cm: acrylic on canvas
Year: 2024

Linyji (Claypan)

This linyji (claypan) 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), [then] mix it and use on burns. For headaches, they put it on the kata (head). Like a Band-Aid, or Panadol – pujiman (traditional, desert dwelling) 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. As Kuru here describes, besides being a valuable water source, claypans were also ingeniously utilized for the removal of husks from seeds before consumption. Additionally, the clay itself was applied topically for its healing properties, aiding in the treatment of burns and soothing headaches.

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.

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Martumili Artists warns visitors that our website includes images and artworks of Artists who have passed away which may cause distress to some Indigenous people.

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.