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"Bush Medicine Leaves" by Gloria Petyarre

AUD 1,637.00 each

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Artist:            Gloria Petyarre

Title:              “Bush Medicine Leaves”

Language:    Anmatyerre / Utopia NT

Medium:        Acrylic on linen

Size:              121x116 cm

This painting depicts leaves of a special bush medicine plant which is used for medicinal purposes. Women go to different places around Gloria’s country of Utopia to collect such leaves. Once selected, the leaves are boiled to extract the resin, then kangaroo fat is mixed through, creating a paste that can be stored in the bush for extended periods. The medicine is used to heal cuts, bites, burns, rashes and also acts as an insect repellent. The leaves are also dried and added to boiling water to use as an inhalant for chest conditions. Women perform a Bush Medicine Ceremony at different times of the year and in preparation for the ceremony, the women paint their bodies with the special markings used for that particular ceremony.

Gloria Petyarre is noted as one of the most famous of Aboriginal artists from the Utopia Homelands. Gloria was born around 1945 on Atnangkere country at Utopia in Central Australia. Her language is Anmatyerre and she predominantly lives at Mulga Bore (Akaye Soakage). Gloria Petyarre is one of seven sisters all of whom are well known Aboriginal artists, including Kathleen Petyarre, Nancy Petyarre, Violet Petyarre and Ada Bird.

The artwork of the Petyarre sisters share the same Dreamings, including Arnkerrth, the Mountain or Thorny Devil Lizard, Awelye, the women’s body design and stories related to a variety of bush foods. Their paintings are able to depict a wide range of designs under these Dreaming stories, with Gloria Petyarre being the most productive of the group.


Each painting includes a certificate of authenticity which comprises the artist's photo (with his/her permission)