Bush food, by Nancy McDinny (Borroloola)
Artist - Nancy McDinny
Nancy is an established artist and a respected keeper of language and cultural knowledge. In her paintings she shares Dreaming stories, and the traditions she learnt from her parents and grandparents, including hunting, fishing, and collecting bush tucker. Nancy is an outspoken advocate for her people and country. She is a major voice in the Frack Free and anti-mining movements; her recent works often depict these themes.
Nancy currently lives with her husband Stewart at Sandridge Outstation near Borroloola.
Nancy created this design in September 2017 during a screenprinting workshop in Katherine run by Tim Growcott and Millie Shorter, facilitated by Magpie Goose in partnership with Katherine Regional Arts. This is her first foray into large scale textile design.
Art story - Bush food
“This is all the bush food I grew up with, before you could get food from the shop! There’s all different bush food that you get during different seasons. We get the Morala – the bush cucumber. The Mododi and the Dadamala (yams) – we get along the coast, dig it up out of the mud in the lagoon. We get some fruit during the wet season – Wuli Buli – it’s a white fruit. And a green plum we call Biga Bugi. And the black fruit – Kumuboya. That only comes out every two years. It grows up on Calvert Hill, Robinson River, and Spring Creek; nowhere else. There’s another fruit that’s pink – called Kangagalangi. And wild banana – Namaragar, we get in the wet season. Another one Wanjirr we get in the wet season. We grew up with this, up until 1964 when we came in from the bush to Borroloola and started eating Welfare Board food. But we still eat it today – it’s all good tucker. We teach our children how to go out and hunt for this food.”