Anaty (Desert Yam) MB051950-Shakira Petrick Mills Petyarre

Acrylic on Canvas
120 x 45cm
Year Painted


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Anaty (Desert Yam) MB051950-Shakira Petrick Mills Petyarre

Shakira paints the Anaty (Desert Yam or Bush Potato, Ipomoea costata) story from her mother's country, Irrweltye, North East of Alice Springs.

This yam grows underground with its viny shrub growing above ground up to 1 metre high. It is normally found on spinifex sand plains and produces large pink flowers after summer rain. The anaty is a tuber, or swollen root, of the shrub and tastes much like the common sweet potato. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is still a staple food for the desert aborigines where it can be harvested at any time of the year. Some can be found as big as a person's head, making this a very important food source in the harsh Australian desert.

In this painting, Shakira depicts the seed of the anaty (dot work), and the root system of the yam (brush work and beautiful colours).
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Located at
Mbantua Darwin Gallery