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John R Walker Eagle spirit, Vathiwarta

oil on polyester

260 x 345.5 cm

Since 2016, my wife Anne and I have stayed regularly at the Oratunga homestead in the northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia. We have climbed the rocky ridge behind the homestead, and sat and stared at the beauty, the wonder. At the centre of this vast space is the distinctive, sharply rising rock massif, Patawarta Hill.

During our most recent stay we got to know a local Adnyamathanha artist, Kristian Coulthard. After I finished my painting I couldn’t think of the right title, so I asked Kristian. He explained that the story of Patawarta (or Vathiwarta) is connected to the sacred eagle, Wildu. And so, the title became Eagle spirit, Vathiwarta.

John R Walker, 2022