Bush Médecine, 2000
This painting refers simultaneously to awelye or women’s ceremonies and the body paint designs that are worn for the duration; and to a plant known as Titye, a tree whose leaf is used in traditional bush medicine.
In her artistic life, Abie has expressed many different painting styles in her work. Here she captures with finesse the linear design element of the body paint ceremony, whilst incorporating the tradition of bush medicine in a composition that balances repetition and colour.
During ceremony, the leaves of the Titye are picked as new growth, boiled with fat and then rubbed into the skin, acting somewhat like a muscle tonic. Healing internally as well as externally.
Abie says this particular bush medicine is still made and used by the people of her country today.
“Ikwerthey anter-anem thelem, apernelheyew-anem antywerlenyel”
Then you pour the fat into it and rub yourself with the antywerleny.