The desert yam or bush potato are tubers or swollen roots of the Ipomoea costata, a fast-growing creeper with large purplish-pink trumpet flowers. They are still a staple food for Aboriginal people in parts of Australia and can be harvested any time of year, preferably after big rain.
The desert yam is sacred to the people of Irrwelty in northern Utopia and can be found featured in paintings by Aboriginal people of this area.
Typically in these paintings, clusters of small parallel lines energetically depict the yam and its flowers, framed in bright speckles of dots that represent the yam seeds and the importance of re-germination.
Artists who paint the bush yam include Jeannie Mills Pwerle, Jean Mills Pwerle, Lisa Mills Pwerle, Natalie Mills Pwerle, Eric Mills Pwerle, Shakira Petrick Petyarre and Patrina Bundy.
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Deep into Central Australia’s remote Utopia region, there is a small community nestled in the bush where Dinny and Josie Kunoth live.
Several bright coloured buildings are home to the residents of this community which include a portion of Dinny and Josie's nine children and their families.
Gloria was a special 2020 exhibition showcasing the beautiful and quintessential Leaves paintings by Gloria Petyarre.
Learn more about this Australian icon.