The Honey Ant is considered to be one of the delicacies of the desert dwellers of Central Australia. The women search the scrublands for their nests and then dig holes to extract them – their bodies swollen with honey. The collection of this and other forms of bush tucker has been handed down from generation to generation.
Lucky Kngwarreye Morton’s painting represents a mass of Honey Ant nests with chambers and galleries radiating out from the centre. It also represents the markings on the bodies of the Honey Ants (which are like those of the nest). Lucky overlays her coloured topographical background with fine white markings made with the gutta-nib instrument (used in batik-making).
Lucky Kngwarreye Morton was born in 1949 on MacDonald Downs. She is the daughter of artist and senior boss woman Mary Kemarre Morton and Billy Stockman Morton (deceased) the renowned sculptor. Lucky speaks Alyawarr and lives with her large family on the northern end of Utopia. Lucky spent her childhood years growing up at MacDonald Downs and around Kurrajong Camp at Utopia.
Lucky Kngwarreye’s career in painting began in the late 70s when the Utopia Women’s Batik Group was formed. Under the expert guidance of CAAMA and Rodney Gooch the first major communal project – a series of eighty eight works entitled Utopia – A Picture Story was launched onto the Australian and international stage. The Holmes a Court Collection sponsored these art projects from which toured Australia and worldwide. This was followed by the project with acrylic on canvas in the summer of 1988-9 as part of CAAMA’s The First works on Canvas, a Summer Project. This body of paintings was exhibited – and enthusiastically received – at the SH Ervin Gallery in Sydney. Lucky has continued to use this medium to express her Dreamings and has exhibited in Australia and overseas.