Marie paints Merne Utyerrke (Wild Figs) and Bush Berries
Marie paints merne utyerrke, known as the wild or desert fig (Brachypoda). Merne means food in Marie's language and Utyerrke is the fig. The figs grow on a large shrub that is found throughout Central Australia. This shrub has smooth grey bark and large glossy green, leathery leaves that were often used in women's leaf games and love magic. When the figs mature they turn a yellow tint and then to red-brown. These are an important food source and can grow at any time of the year in frost free areas, depending on rainfall. The figs are also an extremely important drought food due to their storage abilities; they can be ground into a paste and rolled into balls for later use. In Aboriginal mythology this plant is also very important and in some places so sacred that anyone known to damage it may be killed.
Marie also paints bush berries that are found throughout Central Australia.
Marie likes to use traditional ochre colours in the background design to reflect the rich sand hill country of Central Australia.