Artist Ngamaru Bidu
Title Pitu
Year 2021

Acrylic on linen

Dimensions 122 × 91 cm
Art Centre Martumili Artists →

Out of stock

Ngamaru Bidu

I been born [around] Karanyal and Martilirri (Canning Stock Route Well 22) in the parna (ground), only claypan. My jamu (grandfather) [was also] Jakayu [Biljabu’s] father, my father’s daddy. My mummy born long way, near to Wikirri (Midway Well) area. My father born Pitu (Separation Well). I’m biggest one [I was the eldest of five siblings]; me, Neil, Ivy, Gladys, then Caroline. My sister Gladys been born Wantili, Ivy born Georgia Bore (Pitarny), Caroline been born in Jigalong [Mission]. We walked around together [as we were] growing up.

In 1963, Ngamaru Bidu saw a whitefella for the first time near Wiirnukurrujunu rockhole; surveyor Len Beadell grading a road across the desert as part of a military weapons testing program. Shortly after this meeting Ngamaru, along with the other 28 Martu she had been travelling with, were tracked and pursued by the Native Welfare Department. The group was eventually persuaded to move to Jigalong mission to join their relatives who had already moved in from the desert. Ngamaru has painted with Martumili since its inception in 2006. Ngamaru is known for the complex compositional structures and intricate patterning in her work, through which she very often explores the practice of fire burning in her Country and its related Martu cyclical seasonal changes. Ngamaru’s work has been acquired and exhibited in galleries internationally and throughout Australia.

Artist statement

This painting depicts Pitu, an area east of Parnngurr in the Western Desert. Pitu is Ngamaru Bidu’s home Country. Her surname, Bidu, is non-standard spelling of this placename.