Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming by Kathleen Petyarre Acrylic on Linen
The country of the Thorny Mountain Devil Lizard is the subject of this painting. It grows up to 20 cms' long and is camouflaged in desert colours which darken when the animal is cold. Furthermore authorities say, 'The species is entirely covered with conical spines that are mostly uncalcified. It also features a spiny 'false-head' on the back of the neck and the animal presents this to a potential predator by dipping its real head. Females are larger than males. The Thorny Devil's body is ridged in structure, and helps the animal collect water which is channelled to the mouth. More importantly, Kathleen says that the Thorny Mountain Devil Lizard carries their 'dreamings' on its back. The ancestral lizard is said to have deep associations with the bush medicines, grasses, plants and the various bush foods which permeate Kathleens' country. Impressively, the lizard can withstand drought and the very dry conditions of its desert environment. Seemingly it does not need to have access to water. Such qualities are prized amongst desert people and revered in the harsh, natural environment in which they themselves have survived so well. No wonder that this lizard is subject to many stories and dreamings.
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