Audrey Rubuntja - Tribe WesternAranda - Indigenous Aboriginal Artist

Bush Tomato - Aboriginal Bush Food
Name: Audrey Rubuntja
Tribe name: Western Aranda
Born: 1942 - Alice Springs, Northern Territory
Traditional Land: Gilbert Springs (west of Hermannsburg)

I was born in 1942 in the old Alice Springs hospital to Wildred and Lucy Swift of Hermannsburg. I was the second born child, my older sister Amy is deceased. My parents later adopted another sister for me, Alisan. My father worked in the Mission store at Areyonga, and my mother worked as a housemaid for the local pastor at the time.

I have five children, four daughters, one son, and nine grandchildren.

As a young woman I would site and watch my mother's brother (who was also a Lutheran Minister) paint and make artefacts out in the bush. It was through him that Iwas inspired to start painting myself.

I have been painting for about 30 years. Two of my daughters paint and my 6year old granddaughter is also learning to paint. My paintings tell stories of family, bush tucker gathering and dreamtime stories. My grandchildren love to watch me paint as I tell them stories and explain to them the meaning of the different symbols used. In this modern days we have adapted to the use of acrylic paint to illustrate the same stories that were originally told with drawings done by hand on bare ground.

I enjoy painting and passing on the gift to the following generations. It is an important part of our culture as Aboriginal People.

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