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Bush Leaf Dreaming


Aboriginal culture locates ‘Dreamtime’ as the beginning of all knowledge, from which came the laws of existence. All activities and ways of life- ritual, ceremony and duty relate to this ‘Dreamtime’. Knowledge concerning this beginning of time is sacred and passed down from one generation to the next via ceremony, stories, dance and imagery. All elements found within the natural world are a symbolic footprint of the metaphysical beings whose actions created the world during this dream-time period.


The desert is a very dry region and plant life is often sparse. However, after a heavy rain storm the desert becomes a blanket of vegetation. Women visit different areas to gather the various special plants used to make medicines. Back at camp, the leaves are boiled, resins extracted and when mixed with animal fat they create a medicine paste which can be stored for long periods of time in bush conditions. These medicine pastes are used to heal cuts, wounds, bites, rashes and also act as insect repellent.


Women perform the Bush Medicine Ceremony at different times of the year. In preparation, they paint their bodies with special markings specific to that particular ceremony. Once painted, the women perform song, and dance as part of these ceremonies. Bush Leaf Dreaming depicts the leaves of the special medicinal plants. In effigy, imaging these plants the artist pays homage to the spirit of the medicine plant in hope it will regenerate, enabling the people to use its healing powers.


View Paintings about Bush Leaf Dreaming