By Chern’ee Sutton
Age – 23 years
Medium – Acrylic and raised acrylic on canvas
Size – 101cm Wide x 151cm High
Waterlillies - Muntjit
My name is Chern’ee Sutton I am 23 years old and I am a contemporary Indigenous artist from the Kalkadoon people from Mount Isa in Queensland. This painting is called “Muntjit” in the Kalkadoon language which means “Waterlillies”.
The waterlily has been used as a source of food for the Kalkadoon people for thousands and thousands of years and was an important bush food with many uses.
The women would wade through the freshwater lagoons, swamps and billabongs and collect the bulbs, seed pods and roots from below the water’s surface. The seeds could be eaten raw and have a nutty flavour and the seed pods were crushed up and used to make damper. The stems were roasted and chewed and the bulbs were eaten either roasted or raw and the large leaves were crushed and rubbed over the women’s bodies to deter leeches while they were collecting bush foods.
The waterlilies were an important part of the Kalkadoon people’s diet with high levels of protein and fibre and the flowers themselves are a sign of ecological health.