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Lanita Numina Napanangka / Medicine Leaves (1A)

92cm x 62cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: A12857

$480.00

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SKU: A12857 Category:

Born: c. 1965
Community: Utopia, Central Desert
Outstation: Stirling Station
Language: Anmatyerre

Lanita is from Sterling Station which is Anmatyarre country near Alice Springs and Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory of Australia. She was born in the desert homelands and doesn’t know her birth date. She is now living in Darwin along with her sisters Caroline, Jacinta, Louise and Sharon, also talented artists.

The sisters were all taught to paint by their mother, Barabara Mbitjana and their famous aunties, Kathleen and Gloria Petyarre. A painting of Lanita’s was presented to Princess Mary and Prince Frederick of Denmark as a wedding gift by the Danish community of Darwin NT.

The style of artwork belongs to her desert people of Central Australia. Her art themes represent body markings for women’s ceremonies and stories of hunting and gathering in their traditional country.

The Western desert has an extreme dry climate. The summer is hot with temperatures often exceeding forty degrees Celsius. In winter the nights are freezing cold from June to August. During the droughts, vegetation is sparse and only spinifex and mulga shrubs subsist though they appear withered and lifeless.

After the infrequent rain the desert landscape is transformed. The dried out spinifex flower resembles a field of wheat and the mulga shrub bears green dense foliage and masses of bright yellow flowers. Growing amongst these plants is an abundance of wildflowers that turns the deep red coloured desert floor into a utopian garden.

The Bush Medicine Plant is an Australian native that grows wild in Central Australia. Women collect leaves from these plants, which 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 and rashes. It is also used to treat the flu, headache, backache, upset stomach, chest pains or as an insect repellent. As the leaves and petals dry out they fall off and are blown around by the wind. This is represented in the painting and gives it the movement.

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