Lindsay Bird Mpetyane
Born: Bushy Park Station, NT
LANGUAGE GROUP: Eastern Anmatyerre
COMMUNITY: Utopia, NT
Lindsay Bird worked as a shepherd and a stockman. When in the late 1970s, the Utopia women were introduced to batik painting, Lindsay Bird was one of a few men to work in this medium as well. In 1987, he began painting with acrylic on canvas. As a senior Law man, he can depict many themes of men's law in his paintings. His paintings, often large, are imposing with their boldness of colour selection and harmonious design. His paintings include the stories of Perentie Lizard, Snake, Mulga Seed and Honey Ant.
Lindsay lives in a small extended family group with his wife Mavis, and three daughters, Kavean, Jessica and Rosy Ngale at Mulga Bore Station. Their lifestyle is still very much traditional, maintaining strong links with their land values and ceremony. Lindsay is recognized in his community as one of the leaders in the Art movement from Utopia.
Lindsay is represented in many private and Museum collections both in Australia, overseas, as well as in books such as 'A Picture Story-Robert Holmes a Court collection' and 'The Art of Utopia' by Michael Boulter.
Lindsay is a very important Aboriginal leader in the Utopia district. Lindsay Bird Mpetyane is the cousin to Greeny Petyarre and brother in law to Ada Bird. His dreamings include 'Charpa' (honey ant), 'Men's Ceremony', 'Yam Dreaming' and 'Snake Dreaming', as well as Prickle, Mulga Tree, Bloodwood trees, Bush Plum, and Woomera.
One of the themes to Lindsay's painting is his reference to sacred ceremonial sites where 'Men's' business' is conducted. Lindsay most often depicts these sites in a circular style surrounded by hunting weapons which are the spirits keeping the area safe. These paintings are simple in their design, but very strong in their meaning, reflecting Lindsay's respect for the ceremonies conducted at these sites.
Lindsay has been associated with Mbantua since 1985 and produced his first painting for them in 1987: 'Snake Dreaming', which is still held in the Mbantua collection. Lindsay's paintings are keenly sought by collectors and galleries throughout the world.