Angelina Pwerle was born in 1946 in Utopia, Australia – Aboriginal freehold land north east of Alice Springs. The Bush Plum Dreaming narrative is the main theme of her painting. The Dreamtime (or Dreaming) is a term used to describe the period before living memory when Spirits emerged from beneath the earth and from the sky to create the land forms and all living things. The Dreaming, besides answering questions about origins, provides a harmonious framework for human experience in the universe and the place of all living things within it. Depicting this story in her paintings is the means by which Pwerle perpetuates the past into continuity.


The Bush Plum is a native shrub found throughout the drier areas of Northern and Central Australia. Because of its significance as a food source, the Bush Plum is a totem for many Aboriginal people and has a Dreaming story associated with it. In Pwerle’s paintings, the Bush Plum is depicted as a field of minute dots or particles created with the fine point of a bamboo stick. The meticulous execution of the painting becomes a performative and meditative process. The miasma of dots creates a sense of depth that evokes topographical or cosmological imagery.