Lerndijwaneman - Bush Turkey inscribed PB and bears Jirrawun Arts catalogue number PB 3 2000.72 on the reverse natural earth pigments and synthetic binders on linen 180 x 150cm (70 7/8 x 59 1/16in).
PROVENANCE Painted in 2000 Jirrawun Arts, Western Australia Private collection
LITERATURE Linda Michael (ed.), Paddy Bedford, Sydney: Museum of Contemporary Art, 2006, p.147 (illus.)
Senior Gija lawman Paddy Bedford began his career in painting when he joined Jirrawun Arts in 1998. His earlier work, of which this is an example, is characterised by vibrant and velvety colour blocks of red, white, black and yellow ochre. He would later delve into his signature wet on wet technique which transformed the materiality of the surface of his paintings to a more translucent layering of colour.
In this work Bedford paints his father's country, Lightning Creek or Lerndijwaneman - literally 'the place where he made stone spear heads' as this is where the Nightjar used to flake the stone and make spear heads when he was in the form of a man. It is also the place of the Birnkirrbal, the Bush Turkey and his Dreaming. The Bush Turkey set up camp at this location during the day, causing night to fall, thereby establishing the law of Night and Day. The artist says: 'The turkey made the law for us to follow for life...' (ibid p.21).