PATRICK FERGUSON – punu Exhibition

Adnyamathanha and Pitjantjatjarra man Patrick Ferguson, who was born in Broken Hill NSW in a very small country town called Tibooburra, works with a variety of punu (wood) including Red Mulga and River Red Gum to create artifacts that proudly display both beauty and his strong connection to culture.

Punu is a Pitjantjatjarra word meaning ‘wood’ or ‘tree’. It is used to refer to useful wooden objects such as spears, boomerangs and bowls for carrying water and bush food, it also refers to decorative items such as carvings of snakes and lizards.

While many of Patrick’s creations will not be used for their original intention, they still retain their functional integrity even when exhibited as art.

From the selection and harvesting of the wood, through to the creation of the work, for the last ten years whilst honing his craft Patrick has been very careful to follow Adnyamathanha protocols.

Looking for the right piece and not wasting any punu is something very precious and sacred to Patrick, he will travel great distances for the right wood bringing it back to his place of residence in Adelaide for the carving process.

Lucky for him his deep love for punu also runs through the veins of his daughter, whom he has been teaching and passing down what his Elders taught him.  This year Patrick himself, his father and daughter were all selected to exhibit at ‘OUR MOB 2015’- the highly acclaimed exhibition of contemporary artworks by Indigenous people.

Although Patrick’s artifacts have graced Tandanya before in the Gallery Shop and at Art Fairs, this important showcase will be the first solo exhibition of punu in Tandanya’s 25 year history, a great honour for everyone involved.

Patrick Ferguson

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