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 elder 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, now passed, 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, comes 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 Bush Medicine Leaves Dreaming is a popular theme of the Numina Sisters. Many women from the Petyarre, Mambitji and Numina family name hold custody of themes such as Bush Medicine Leaves, Bush Tucker, Seeded, Soakage, Womens' Ceremony. This is common with other skin groups across the vast arid creek beds and red sand of central Australia. Reinforcing these Dreamings through their artworks gives respect for Country and ancestors. The knowledge must be retold and handed on to younger generations as a part of building ones cultural identity. The Numina Sisters have all been taught to paint by their artist-grandmothers, mother-aunties, and cousin-sisters connected across the Central Desert region. Their mother's and grandmother's Country are in the bush and remote Stirling Station. Their father is from Utopia community side.
About the painting:
This painting illustrates the Bush Medicine Leaves. The Bush Medicine Plant is an Australian native that grows wild in Central Australia. Women go to different places around Utopia to collect leaves from these plants. Back at the camp the leaves are boiled to extract resin. Kangaroo fat is mixed into the resin, creating a paste that can be stored for a long time in bush conditions. This medicine is used to heal cuts, wounds, bites, rashes and acts as an insect repellent.
By painting about "Bush Medicine", Sharon is paying homage to the spirit of the medicine plant in the hope that it will regenerate, enabling the people to continue to benefit from its healing properties.