Language: Mara - Alawa
Edward Blitner was born on the 24th December 1961. Edward Blitner is from the Ngukkurr Community (now called Yugul Mangl) in Naijarlindji country on the Roper River, approx. 270km south-east off Katherine in the Northern Territory. Edward attended school at Concordia College in Adelaide until he was sixteen year old. As a young man he worked as a stock-man and farmhand. Edward started painting when he was seven years old. My grandfathers, Fred, Gerry and Donald would be painting or carving and we kids would sit around them and watch them grind the ochre’s and mix the colours, after a while he would tell us the story for that particular painting and also teach us the songs and dance cycles for that story. When he was in a very good mood, he let us paint the sides of the bark painting, that was my start. Eddie has progressed as a highly recognised contemporary artist. He has worked with the children of several schools and street children teaching them his painting skills and techniques. It has taken Edward (Eddie) many years to learn to paint the stories and the Dreaming’s past on to him by his grandfather. Edward is also an accomplished woodcarver. Some of Eddy's bird carvings stand 2 meters high and are fully decorated and cross hatched (rrarrk). The detailed cross hatching shown in Edward's paintings and carvings, is the artist's family body design and is sacred to his clan. Other members of his clan (Barbil) taught him how to make flint spear heads, traditional hunting boomerangs and most important how to hunt, fish, find bush tucker and make bush medicine to survive.