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Gloria Tamerre Petyarre

Bush Medicine Leaves - 2006

synthetic polymer paint on canvas
121 x 150 cm
Price Realised: $12,200.00

MP #682


Dacou Gallery, SA Cat No. DG06936
Lawson~Menzies, Aboriginal Art, Sydney, November 2006, Lot No. 119
Private Collection, USA

Raised in a remote part of the Eastern Desert and initiated into Anmatyerre law and traditions, Gloria Petyarre participated in the first art programs organised at Utopia in 1977, when she was 39 years of age. These early batik-making workshops marked the emergence of Aboriginal women artists as a force in the desert painting movement.

This highly accomplished work represents the leaves of the Kurrajong tree, used in the Utopia region to treat a variety of ailments. The women collect the leaves, then dry and mix them with Kangaroo fat in order to extract the plant's medicinal qualities. The significance of the Kurrajong tree and the part it plays in healing is celebrated in the Women's Awelye ceremonies.

In painting the Bush Medicine Leaf story, Gloria pays homage to the spirit of the medicinal plant. By re-creating its image, she encourages its regeneration, so that her people can continue to benefit from its healing powers.