Bush Medicine Leaves by Gracie Morton Pwerle


  • Title: Bush Medicine Leaves
  • Canvas Size: 158cm x 79cm
  • Painting Size: 151cm x 72cm
  • Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

The ‘Bush Medicine’ refers to a species of Acacia, which is used as part of indigenous traditional healing. Women collect leaves from this plant and boil them to extract the resin. The resin is then mixed with kangaroo fat. The resulting paste is used to heal bites, wounds, cuts and rashes and can be used as an insect repellant.

The leaves from the plant can also be brewed to make a tea and this is used as a medicine against flu.


About the artist:

  • Name: Gracie Morton
  • Skin name: Pwerle (Pwerl)
  • Language: Alyawarre
  • Region: Utopia

Gracie comes from a highly regarded family of indigenous artists – her mother is Myrtle Petyarre and daughter is Cindy Morton. Like many female artists of her era, Gracie began working on Batik in the early 1970’s before switching to canvas in the early 1980’s.

Gracie depicts her dreaming of Bush Plum or Arnwekety, a plant which has significant importance to the women of her region. She uses a very delicate dotting technique and traditional colours.

Selected exhibitions:

  • 1985, 1986, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996 – Araluen Art Centre, Alice Springs, NT
  • 1989 – S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney
  • 1989-91 – Tandanya, Adelaide
  • 1998, 2002 – Aboriginal Art Gallery Baehr, Speyer, Germany
  • 1998 – Aboriginal Art Gallery of Australia, Melbourne
  • 1999 – Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs
  • 1999 – Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs
  • 1999 – Alliance Francaise de Canberra and the French Embassy, Canberra
  • 2000 – Ancient Earth Indigenous Art, Cairns
  • 2000 – “Kunst der Aboriginies”, Leverkusen, Germany
  • 2001 – Staedtische Gallery Gal, Wolfsburg, Germany
  • 2002 – “Land is Life Art from Australia”, Germany
  • 1998, 2000, 2003 – Chapel off Chapel Gallery, Melbourne

Selected Collections:

  • Robert Holmes a Court Collection
  • Beher Collection, Germany
  • Slater and May International Law Collection, London, UK



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