Language Group: Alyawarre
Country: Irrultja, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Subjects: Bush Medicine, Country
Betty was born in Utopia in 1957 and grew up in Irrultja. Her paintings represent bush medicine in her country. This story has been passed down to her from her father. Betty's daughter is Joycie Morton and Nikita Inkamala is her granddaughter. They are both great artists and share the same story of 'Bush Medicine'. Their stories are passed down from generation to generation.
Joycie and Nikita have been painting for Mbantua Gallery for a long time. In May 2021 Betty popped into the Mbantua warehouse with them and said 'I wanna do painting for you!'. She then started painting for us. Betty currently lives in Ampilatwatja with her sons, daughters and grandchildren.
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs
There are many sacred Dreamtime stories that belong to Betty's country of which play a significant part in her ceremonies and culture. One of her main Dreamings is the story of Bush Medicine which she has depicted in this painting.
Betty paints flowers and leaves of the bush medicine plant. There are different types of bush medicine in the Central Desert. Betty's daughter Joycie says "We grind leaves, flowers and seeds then boil in oil."It is then used as an ointment. Joycie also says "Good for sore skin, itchy, pain... anything! Also we boil them in water and drink. Good for kidney, flu etc. It lowers blood pressure too. Yeah, really good one!"
Betty also paints different bush medicine flowers (swirl design) that the kangaroos like to eat. Dot work represents Betty's country.