Tjintjira (Salt pan) by Nita Ferguson
Artist: Nita Ferguson
Size and medium: 117 x 77 cm Painting
Title: Tjintjira (Salt pan)
Im trying to make it so people see more than a pretty picture with nice colours……I want them to see the salt pans I love and to see them from above, to rise up and look down….It’s a landscape of salt pan, lakes’, hills and the land around them. This is part of the desert country that I really love. This painting goes all the way through my country, the place where I was born, places where I lived and worked with my family.
Many people don’t like the desert country, Its very big, hot and dry…I think its beautiful.
When I was about four or five I used to go with my father to collect salt for the stockman working on the stations. It was a long way from the stockyard and would take all day to get there. I always wanted to go and put my feet in the water but my father would get very cross with me and tell me to get away or I would burn my feet. He would shovel up the salt from the top of the salt pan and bag it up. Many bags and bags were filled and then loaded up on the camel wagon and taken back to the station.
The salt was unloaded and stacked in the meat house. After cutting up the killer they would salt the meat and hang it. This meat would keep for a long time and was handed out to the stockmen and their families for their food ration.