Feature: Enchanted pastel

by Utopia Lane Art January 11, 2018

Enchanted pastel painting in purple and pink by Abie Loy Kemarre

Abie Loy's most popular paintings depict leaves of the antywerleny (a type of wattle with medicinal properties) swaying in the breeze. There is a soft energy created by the suggested movement; one that captivates audiences and provides that sweet something to stare at in trance - like looking into the flames of a crackling fire.

Abie is one of few Aboriginal artists in her age group that has held a prominent profile since her earliest days of painting. You may have heard of her grandmother, Kathleen Petyarre, who is one of the renowned Petyarre sisters of Utopia. She has won numerous awards and was the centre of much attention during the 1990's.

But Abie did not sit quietly in the shadows. She has been exhibited jointly with her grandmother extensively - including an exhibition where she travelled to Paris and Toulouse, as well as with other prominent Utopia artists, and has had her own solo exhibitions nationally.

Abie Loy Kemarre painting in progress

Usually, Abie's bush medicine leaf paintings are found in warm mixes of reds or yellows or in cool, watery blues. It is uncommon to see a pastel-charged piece in pink and purple such as this enchanted piece. This is one of the reasons this piece is featured in Enchanted.

Leaves of Antywerleny, a type of bush medicine Abie uses a small, fine bristled brush to create the long, pointed leaves (or more accurately phyllodes) of the antywerleny. Antywerleny is the Anmatyerre and Alyawarr word for the Acacia tenuissima, a slender, erect shrub native to the Northern Territory, growing up to 4 metres high.

These leaves can be crushed and mixed with fat for use as a medicinal ointment, or soaked in water to make a medicinal wash. Abie says this particular bush medicine is still made and used by the people of her country today.

Read more on Abie Loy Kemarre

Utopia Lane Art
Utopia Lane Art

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