Title: Bush Medicine Leaves
Artist: Bethany Nelson
Medium: Acrylic on canvas,
Size: 110 x 52 cm unframed
COA and pictures of the artist holding and signing her work will be provide
The Bush Plum also known as Ahakeye is a native shrub is also known as the native currant or citrus. It belongs to the canthium attenuatum shrub which grows about 3m high. The Bush Plum shrub produces small white flowers, deep green citrus-like leaves and the ahakeye which are black when ripe and very small. This fruit is favoured for its sweet taste and can be reconstituted in water if dry. Because of its significance as a food source, the Bush Plum is also a totem for many Aboriginal people and has an altyerre (Dreaming story) associated with it. Paintings depicting the Bush Plum often contain extremely fine dot work which represents the berries at various stages of ripeness and may include lines of white dots which signify the tracks made by the women as they harvest the fruit.
The ‘U’ motifs, represented Women, collecting Ahakeye. They carry with them their digging sticks and coolamons (carved wooden bowls) which are typical instruments used for collecting many bush foods. June also depicts the flowers of the bush plum (white dots) and background yellow dot work represents the fruit of the bush plum. Artists may depict the fruit at different stages which is why so many Bush Plum Dreaming artworks vary in style and colouring.