Medicine 2019 Wadjuk Boodja Armadale Australia
"MEDICINE" started with Vivienne Hanson's Book Noongar Bush Medicine. I met Vivienne several months back and when I was sick I recognised some of the medicines as I sat at Settlers Common and then reflected on how healing the bush is, even to simply be there.
I then met Kandice Hanson who on seeing some of my previous artworks mentioned the importance of fire for the bush and to the Aboriginal communities, sitting round the fire telling stories and being together.
Each of the different ovals are baskets holding medicine and the overall shape is a basket too, with the fire weaving around. I have approval for these elements to be in the work and acknowledge the Elders past, present and future who take care of this country.
Whilst at Settlers Common at the Armadale Bush Art Trail I became more aware of the the dieback that's there. The disease attacks the underground network of roots where the forest shares its nutrients, which fungi play an important role. On the day Sharon Rose Elise Marshall and I started digging into the hard gravel surface, council workers turned up with a truck, grinders, rollers etc to remove “puff ball”fungi from the pathways, those strong little guys can push right through most bitumen. In Vivienne Hanson's co- authored book Noongar Bush Medicine, it can be "broken open and the spores rubbed into wounds and sores". page 64/65
So its puff ball fungi that I used in the middle of the work, both as a symbol of a balm for the wound of dieback and to celebrate the power of nature. To be honest I'm a little frightened of her power and what might happen with climate change but this time it's pure joy seeing the puff balls push through our paved surfaces.
Collaborators- Vivienne Hanson, Kandice Hanson, Jodie Clark, Elise Marshall, Caro Bannister, Sharon Rose, Anne Clocherty,
Kelly Jennings, Lauren Carr, Renae Whyte, Nelle Clocherty-Coumbe, Banjo Clocherty- Coumbe and other lovely members of the Armadale community.