Story Behind the Painting: Stanley Chasm — Angkerle Atwatye

[While painting this scene of a group of older men gathering to admire the glowing walls of Stanley Chasm, I was reminded of the T-Team’s trek in 1977 with Mr. B. This wealthy man used to comfort and luxury, took on the challenges of roughing it camping with the T-Team. This stunning chasm is about 50km west of Alice Springs and is one of the first of many beautiful sites to visit in the MacDonnell Ranges.]

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The T-Team With Mr B (17)

‘Aren’t I clever,’ my brother said.
‘How did you do that?’ I approached the cage. ‘G’day mate.’
The parrot cocked its head.
In a falsetto voice, I said, ‘Hello cocky.’
The bird bobbed its head.
The boys laughed.

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The T-Team With Mr B (4)

Dad pointed at the expanse of red sand dotted with spinifex. ‘This land belongs to the Pitjantjatjara people.’
I sat in the front seat while he negotiated the corrugations, bumps and lumps of the poor excuse of a graded road. Abandoned cars, just shells really, languished in the scrub each side of the road. He waved at the wrecks that were planted in crimson fields of wild hops. ‘They run their cars to the ground. Anyway, normally you need a special permit to go onto their land.’

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