Shopping Cart

maureen Purvis Kngwarreye

"Bush Medicine Leaves" by Maureen Purvis Kngwarreye


Enquire Now

Artist: Maureen Purvis Kngwarreye

Region: Utopia, NT

Size: 100 x 88 cm

Free World-Wide Shipping

Maureen is the daughter of Greenie and Kathleen Purvis, and she resides in Utopia, which is located in the Central Desert Region of Australia. She is the granddaughter of Jennifer Purvis Kngwarreye, who is a significant contemporary artist in Australia. Maureen grew up in Utopia, a remote desert area situated 230 kilometres northeast of Alice Springs. Jennifer is the youngest daughter of Greeny Purvis Petyarre and Kathleen Purvis Kemarre, who are both established Utopian artists. Greeny was the senior custodian for Alhalkere country and one of Utopia's finest artists. Maureen has two elder sisters named Judy and Jedda Purvis, who are also established artists. The language group they belong to is Anmatyerre.

The Story Behind the Bush Leaves Paintings

 The medicine bush leaves depicted were original of the Kurrajong tree of which there are some 30 varieties dating back 50 million years. They scale from small shrubs to massive trees some 30 meters in height. In the larger trees, their trunks are used to store water, but it is the leaves that have medicinal purposes.

The women of Utopia, the remote region far to the west of Alice Springs where Maureen's family originated, gather the bush leaves, boil them, and then mash them with animal fats (kangaroo, emu, or goanna) making a medicinal poultice or paste which can last for many months. The paste is used to heal a multitude of afflictions such as bites, wounds, skin infections, rashes, and skin cancer. The bush leaves are also boiled in hot water to make an infusion or healing tea. Other preparations were used as insect repellent or were thrown into the water to stun the fish.

The desirability of the artworks

 Admirers of the medicine bush leaf paintings often observe their mesmerizing attraction. People are captivated by how the paintings appear to be in motion in front of their eyes like the leaves on the canvas are literally blowing in the wind. Many buyers and collectors of medicine bush leaf artworks both in Australia, America, and Europe are also medical specialists who buy the works to hang in their consulting rooms to show an Aboriginal artwork with medical connotations.