Bush Medicine Leaves

Tammy Ptijara

Artwork Year



40 x 95 cm


acrylic on canvas


One of Tammy’s most recognisable styles is her depiction of Bush leaves.

A native species of acacia, bush medicine leaves are used extensively in traditional Indigenous healing. The leaves are prepared in two ways: either boiled to create a tea that helps alleviate stomach upsets, or ground with kangaroo fat to extract the leaves’ resin and create a paste. This paste is then applied as a salve to bites, burns and abrasions. The intricate strokes used by Tammy, allow for the canvas to be filled with thousands of fluid bush leaves, beginning at a centre point and opening out.

Tammy’s dreaming was taught to her by her

renowned grandmother,

the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

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