My Country by Anna Pitjara original.
Acrylic on Linen
150 x 95cm
Contemporary Aboriginal Art
My Country, Anna Pitjara
The painting singed by Anna Petyarre.
Story: This painting represents the Leaves that were traditionally used for medicine. This practice was used long before western medicine was introdused to the aboriginal people.
The bush medicine leaves are collected by the women and are highly prized for their restorative powers as part of traditional health practices.
Bush medicine leaves derive from a particular native shrub which grows abundantly in the 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 artists who paint this story represent the leaves as they float to the ground, and they employ a range of brush strokes and colours to represent the leaves at different times of the year.
When the leaves of the shrub are green they are gathered by the women and ground up using a stone. Then 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.
Also the medicine leaves can be collected and boiled to extract the resin, which is then mixed together with kangaroo fat.