Tanarthi @ The Women’s & Children’s Hospital
Seven Aboriginal women sharing the importance of Bush Medicine stories through their paintings.
Welcome from the Women and Children’s Hospital Foundation’s Tarnanthi Art Exhibition –
Thank you very much Jane Scotcher, CEO WCH Foundation, for your generous support .
“Karra Wadlu Yaitya Purruna: Bush Shrubs Make You Healthy”
At a time when health practice and medical sciences are developing at a rapid rate it is important to reflect and respect the cultural, traditional and botanical origins of the contemporary medicines that are currently used.
Today, alongside the technological advances in healthcare is a new recognition of traditional Aboriginal healing practices to complement the work of western medicine. These practices bridge the gap of understanding of the spiritual role in healthcare for Indigenous patients. A recent example of this is the introduction of Ngangkari Healers at Australian hospitals including the Royal Adelaide Hospital.
“I love bush medicine. We still use our own bush medicine and why I like bush medicine is it’s part of our tradition, it heals our spirit and is part of our culture.” Julianne Turner Nungarrayi
“When we go hunting for bush tucker, we also collect bush medicine leaves so we can make bush medicine for backpain, headaches, different types of sickness.” Audrey Brumby
With Aboriginal knowledge of native flora extending back over 60,000 years, the information on the collection, application and benefits of these plants is passed on through songs, dance, paintings and oral folklore. Today the ancient knowledge of medicinal flora is taught as women gather traditional bush medicine, passing knowledge from Elders and Aunties to the younger generation.
“When I go back home, out bush, that’s when we walk in the quiet and talk to the old ones and the young ones. We learn and we teach, about what the bush has for us and how to gather bush plants and turn them into teas and rubs for wellness. It is a good time.” Bernadine Johnson
In Karra Wadlu Yaitya Purruna, each of the seven female artists; Audrey Brumby, Bernadine Johnson, Josephine Lennon, Nancy Napangardi Martin, Julianne Turner Nungarrayi, Christine Nakamara Brown and Debra McDonald Nangala, share their love and commitment for collecting native plants, coming together through the Circle of Arts Foundation, to paint the medicinal flora and bringing culture and meaning to a healthcare centre. These artist’s stories come together at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital, from their different language countries, with their differing bush foods to share their experiences with the hospital community – bringing in ‘country’ to the hospital space.
“My Mother was born under a quandong tree, I like to paint quandongs to remember her. My Mother used bush medicine all the time. She used wax from a special gum tree to take out my splinters.” Christine Nakamara Brown
Presented in the Women’s & Children’s Hospital Foundation Gallery, this vibrant exhibition provides a meaningful opportunity for our young patients, their families and staff; both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, to engage creatively while in hospital and to experience and learn more about traditional Aboriginal wellness; Karra Wadlu Yaitya Purruna: Bush Shrubs Make You Healthy.
*Images supplied by the Women’s and Children’s Hospital