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Original Painting - MB058585

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Artist Profile

Denisa Hatches Ngale Born: 1992 Language Group: Alyawarre/Anmatyerre Co…

Artist Profile

Denisa Hatches Ngale

Born: 1992

Language Group: Alyawarre/Anmatyerre

Country: Camel Camp, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

Subjects: Anwekety (Conkerberry), Bush Tucker, Water Dreaming

Denisa started painting in November 2017. Denisa's main story is Anwekety (Conkerberry or Bush Plum) that passed down to her from her grandfather, Motorbike Paddy. Denisa's grandmother is Kathleen Ngale. Kathleen is a well-known artist and has been painting for Mbantua Gallery for a long time. Denisa lives at Camel Camp with her family.


Artist: Denisa Hatches Ngale

Size: 45 x 45cm

Title: Anwekety (Conkerberry)

Medium: Acrylic on Acrylic on Canvas

Anwekety (Conkerberry)

The conkerberry (or conkleberry) known as Anwekety or bush plum to Denisa, is a sweet black berry that is favoured by desert aboriginals. They only grow on the plant (Carissa lanceolata) for a few weeks of the year, however Denisa's people collect plenty of them and store them dry, soaking them in water again before being consumed. The plant of the conkerberry is a tangled, spiny shrub that can grow up to 2m high. After rain fragrant white flowers bloom. This plant also bares medicinal properties. The orange inner bark from the roots can be soaked in water and the resultant solutions can be used as a medicinal wash. This is particularly favoured for skin and eye conditions. The thorns on the shrub can be used to cure warts.

In this painting, Denisa paints the conkerberry (dot work) and its leaves (linear work). In Anmatyerre the conkerberry is called Anwekety. This fruit looks very similar to a plum and is often referred to in English by Denisa as a 'bush plum'. In the Dreamtime, winds blew from all directions, carrying the Anwekety seed over Denisa's ancestors' land. The first Anwekety of the Dreamings then grew, bore fruit and dropped more seeds. Many winds blew the seeds all over the Dreaming lands.
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