Palya Proper Fine Art, NT
Cooee Art, NSW
Bush medicine leaves come from a particular native shrub which grows in abundance in the Eastern Desert regions of Utopia, north-east of Alice Springs. During the life of the plant, the leaves change colour and exhibit different medicinal properties. The leaves are collected by women and are highly prized for their restorative powers as part of traditional health practices. When the leaves of the shrub are green they are ground up using a stone. They can be made into a mixture to apply to aching joints or to place on the temples to cure headaches. The medicine leaf compound is mixed with water to form a milky solution, which can be used to cure coughs, colds and flu-like symptoms.
In painting the Bush Medicine Leaf story, the artists of Central Australia pay homage to the spirit of the medicinal plant. The flowing motion and undulating rhythm of the subject matter reflects the importance of the bush medicine leaves to traditional Aboriginal culture. By creating its image the artist encourages the regeneration of the bush medicine plant, so that her people can continue to benefit from its healing powers.
Gloria first created this design and subject in 1994. She won the Wynn Prize, Australia’s most prestigious landscape painting award in 1999 for a major work based on this themeShare