Language Group: Arrernte
Country: Atitjera (Harts Range) , North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen
Subjects: Bush Plum (also called Bush Berry)
Josepha was born and grew up at Santa Teresa Mission, approximately 80kms South East of Alice Springs. Although having grown up with the presence of a western culture, Josepha still lived a mostly traditional life, collecting bush foods and participating in customary ceremonies.
In 1990, Josepha first tried her hand at painting acrylic on canvas. She has since continued this art, painting for various galleries around Australia. In June 2008, she painted her first paintings for Mbantua Gallery and we are thrilled to now have her on board.
Josepha paints the Bush Plum Dreaming from her father's country. The bush plum grows throughout Central Australia. The fruit isn't large but looks like a grape and is sweet to eat. Josepha represents the bush plum in her paintings through intricate dot work commonly found in reds, blues and oranges. These colours signify the various ripening stages of the bush plum. Josepha is well travelled; her art has taken her to Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.
Josepha now shares her time living between Alice Springs and Harts Range. She rarely visits Utopia anymore although some of her children continue to live out there. One of her sons, Damien Petrick, also paints for Mbantua Gallery and is married to another Utopian artist, Lisa Mills Pwerl.
Mbantua Gallery Collection, Alice Springs, NT
Charles Sturt University Collection
Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia
Artbank, Sydney, NSW
Though Josepha calls these little berries 'bush plum' in English, Angkwerrpme is the name for Mistletoe in Josepha's language. There are many different types of angkwerrpme in Central Australia and all but one or two produce edible berries. In this painting Josepha paints one that has sweet edible berries that can be found in shades of yellow, red, orange and purple (or black) in their different stages of maturity. Josepha says they can be found growing on the Witchetty Bush (Acacia kempeana).
In this painting, Josepha depicts the angkwerrpme through intricate dot work and the colours she has used signify these various ripening stages.