Bush Turkey Dreaming (223039)

Cowboy Loy Pwerl

223039 Cowboy BushTurkey
Bush Turkey Dreaming (223039) by Cowboy Loy Pwerl


Cowboy Loy Pwerl
Bush Turkey Dreaming (223039)
synthetic polymer on inen
298 x 200 cm
Stock Number

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the artist

Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne

private collection, Melbourne

Further Information

Cowboy Loy Pwerl was an Eastern Anmatyerr speaker whose traditional country can be found on the western side of the Sandover River on Utopia station, stretching west onto Mt Skinner station. He was the senior custodian of a series of Dreaming sites over the same area, the great variety of which can be seen in his paintings. As the senior custodian of Arwengerrp, Cowboy paints the story of the Bush Turkey Dreaming.

His painting conceptualises the convergence of mythical and actual journeys of the bush turkey, as it moves across the terrain with the change of seasons, burrowing the ground in search of seeds, insects and water. Cowboy uses finely detailed brushwork to depict the nesting place of the Bush Turkey. The geometric patterning is laid out in a series of tiny coloured dots, which on a simple level represent the tracks of the bush turkey as it searches for seeds to eat.

Cowboy’s paintings are imbued with a symbolic topographical depiction of country, and iconographic indications of crossing paths and waterholes. The colours are inspired by the colours of the desert and its changing seasonal affects on flora - flowering seeds and native grasses allow for the use of vibrant colours, from bright yellows and reds, to deep blues and purples.

The overall shimmering dynamic effect of Cowboy Loy Pwerl’s paintings is the result of combining the colours of the native local flora, and the careful observation and inherited ceremonial knowledge of the bush turkey.

Cowboy is represented in numerous institutions around Australia including the National Gallery of Australia; the National Gallery of Victoria; the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Museum of Victoria. Cowboy’s daughter Genevieve Loy Kemarr continues his legacy as a painter of the bush turkey.