Shopping Cart

Sharon Numina

"Bush Medicine Leaves" by Sharon Numina Napanangka


Enquire Now

  • Size: 135 x 90 cm

  • Acrylic paint on canvas

  • Commissions Available

About Sharon 

Sharon Numina was born in 1981 and attended school at Kormilda College Darwin. Sharon is one of six sisters and two brothers. Her mother, Barbara Price Mbtitjana, an elderly painter and cultural elder from Stirling Station near Tennant Creek, taught all her daughters to paint.  Sharon is one of the younger painters of the fabulous Numina Sister desert artists. Sharon lives in Darwin with her older sisters.

Sharon's father, who has now passed away, is from Utopia. The stories of Bush Tucker, Goanna, Dingo Tracks, and other themes that Sharon paints is her mother's and father's Country and Dreaming totems and cultural knowledge stories.

Sharon and her sisters and mother come from a long line of desert painters of the contemporary Aboriginal art and dot-dot central desert movement from well-renowned painter aunties Gloria and Kathleen Petyerre, who are well-established artists in Alice Springs.

The Story Behind the Bush Leaves Paintings

 The medicine bush leaves depicted are original to 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 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 Caroline’s people originated, gather the bush leaves, boil them, and then mash them with animal fats (kangaroo, emu, or gonna), making a medicinal poultice or paste which can last for many months. The paste is used to heal many afflictions, such as bites, wounds, skin infections, rashes, and skin cancer. The bush leaves are 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 in Australia, America, and Europe are medical specialists who buy the works to hang in their consulting rooms to show an Aboriginal artwork with medical connotations.