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Original Artwork - GSP0160

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Artist Profile

Marie Ryder grew up at Santa Teresa (Ltyentye Apurte) community, 80kms southeast…

Artist Profile

Artist Profile



Language Group:

Eastern Arrernte (Aranda)


Santa Teresa, South East of Alice Springs, Northern Territory


Acrylic on Canvas, Linen and Paper, Decorative Craft


Women Collecting Imuna (Bush Food), Merne Pmerlpe (Quandongs), Owls, Merne Arrwerneng (Wild Passionfruit), Merne Alangkwe (Bush Banana), Merne Yerrampe (Honey Ants), Merne Awele Awele (Bush Tomatoes), Merne Atwakeye (Wild Orange), Merne Atwakeye (Wil

Marie Ryder grew up at Santa Teresa (Ltyentye Apurte) community, 80kms southeast of Alice Springs with her eight younger brothers and sisters. Her mother is Therese Ryder, a highly respected illustrative and landscape artist. Marie is married to Kevin Bird Mpetyane (grandson of Ada Bird Petyarre) and lives happily with their children in Kevin's country in the Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs. Marie also has another two children from her first marriage.

Marie first put paint to canvas when she was in her early 20's. As a child, she watched her mother painting, observing her techniques and from this developed her own style. Her paintings are a celebration of the bush foods from Central Australia. They are highly representational using rich colours to depict her country.

Her work is held in many private collections both interstate and overseas. Her work has also been represented in many group exhibitions.

Mbantua Gallery Collection, Alice Springs, NT
Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, NT
Bush Foods: Therese Ryder and Marie Ryder, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, NT
Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions


Artist: Marie Ryder

Size: 30 x 30cm

Title: Women Collecting Merne Utyerrke (Wild Figs)

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Year Painted: 2024

Women Collecting Merne Utyerrke (Wild Figs)

Marie paints women collecting Merne Utyerrke, known as the wild or desert fig. Merne means food in Marie's language and Utyerrke is the fig. The figs grow on a large shrub that is found throughout Central Australia. This shrub has smooth grey bark and large glossy green, leathery leaves that were often used in women's leaf games and love magic. The figs are an important food source and can grow at any time of the year, depending on rainfall. In Aboriginal mythology this plant is very important and in some places so sacred that anyone known to damage it may be killed.

Women, represented by 'U' motifs, can carry with them their digging sticks and coolamons (carved wooden bowls) which are typical instruments used for collecting many bush foods.

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