By Brooke Sutton
Age – 16 years
Size – 61cm wide x 91cm high
Medium – Acrylic and textured acrylic on canvas
Emu Dreaming - Utinat Ritjinguthinha
My name is Brooke Sutton and I am a contemporary Indigenous artist from the Kalkadoon people from Mount Isa in Queensland. This painting is called “Utinat Ritjinguthinha” in the Kalkadoon language which means “Emu Dreaming”.
Aboriginal people have looked at the stars and used them to follow their dreaming tracks or songlines for thousands of years and had a very good understanding of the motions of the sun, the moon, the planets and the stars throughout the year. Stories about the stars and constellations were passed down from generation to generation and this painting tells the story of the Emu in the sky and the stone emu nests.
Every Autumn when the milky way passes over Kalkadoon country and the emu in the sky is at its brightest it signals to the Kalkadoon people that it is now time to collect the emu eggs for food, never taking all the eggs but only a few so the emu can repopulate the lands.