Works / Bush Medicine Leaves

Bush Medicine Leaves 2011 by Jive Art

Bush Medicine Leaves

Jeannie Petyarre

Acrylic on Linen

90 x 185 cm


Jeannie’s Dreaming celebrates the spirit of the yam plant as it regenerates each year to provide food.  'Bush Medicine’ refers to the making of medicine from a complex mixture of fruits and plants with animal fats.  The motion that is so beautifully depicted in the painting Bush Yam or Bush Medicine Dreaming, comes from the scattering motion used by the women to dry the leaves once back in camp.  Leaves gathered in a coolamon are spread out with a seamingly effortless 'flick' resulting in an even layer of leaves so they all dry evenly in the sun.  The leaves are then ground and used in ointments for treatment of scabies or skin mites, and are also burnt in smudge pots to provide purifying smoke for respiratory ailments.