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About This Artist

NORA KEMARRE

 

In her paintings Nora shows us the Bush Medicine Dreaming. The Bush Medicine Plant is an Australian native that grows wild in Central Australia. Women go to different places around Utopia to collect leaves from these plants. Back at the camp the leaves are boiled to extract resin. Kangaroo fat is mixed into the resin, creating a paste that can be stored for a long time in bush conditions. This medicine is used to heal cuts, wounds, bites, rashes and also acts as an insect repellent.

By painting about "Bush Medicine" Nora is paying homage to the spirit of the medicine plant in the hope that it will regenerate, enabling the people to continue to benefit from its healing properties.

The bush medicine ceremony is performed at different times of the year. In preparation for the ceremony the women paint their bodies with special markings for that particular ceremony. Ochre and Spinifex ashes are mixed with Kangaroo or Emu fat to make the body-paint. Body-painting ranges from simply smearing clay across the face, to intricate full body patterning. Ceremonies always involve song, dance and body decoration, the ownership, management and performance of the ceremony is dependent upon knowledge, status and initiation level of the participants.


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