Arekwarr (Wild Pigeon) Dreaming

Harold Payne Mpetyane

Artwork Year

30 x 30 cm


acrylic on canvas


Harold paints the story of the wild pigeon, also known as arekwarr or arwekarr in Anmatyerre language and it is connected to the ahakeye story. The ahakeye, called wild plum in English by Harold, is also known as the native currant or citrus (canthium attenuatum). These are both very important stories for Harold that belong to his country, Ilkawerne. These stories, their songs, dances, and symbols have been passed down to Harold from his father. The concentric circles in his paintings represent the ahakeye tree which grows about 3m high and produces small white flowers, deep green citrus-like leaves and the ahakeye which are black when ripe and very small. This fruit is favoured for its sweet taste and can be reconstituted in water if dry. Harold says the black tracks in the paintings represent the arekwarr walking along the ground stepping on all the fallen ahakeye. Black dots in the background represent the

ripe ahakeye, red dots the raw ahakeye and yellow

dots the ahakeye when it is becoming ripe.

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