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Louise NUMINA

Louise Numina is one of the highly-talented Numina sisters, fast emerging as the next artistic dynasty in the contemporary aboriginal art world. A Kaytetye artist, she was born in 1976 on Stirling Station in the Utopia region in the Eastern Central Desert of the Northern Territory in Central Australia (north-west of Alice Springs). Taught by her aunties Gloria and Kathleen Petyarre, both highly-respected Aboriginal artists, Louise started painting at a very young age.

She studied at Nungalinya College and has a Diploma in Fine Arts from the Northern Territory University. Her art particularly expresses Bush Medicine Leaves (from an Australian native plant that grows wild in Central Australia), Thorny Devil or Mountain Lizard Dreaming, and Bush Tucker, particularly Bush Yam Dreaming and Bush Melon.

By painting about "Bush Medicine", Louise is paying homage to the spirit of the medicine plant in the hope that it will regenerate, enabling the people to continue to benefit from its healing properties. Women go to different places around Utopia to collect leaves from the Bush Medicine plants. Back at the camp the leaves are boiled to extract resin and Kangaroo fat is mixed in, creating a paste that can be stored for a long time in bush conditions. This medicine is used to heal cuts, wounds, bites, rashes and also acts as an insect repellent.

Louise’s paintings reflect the Bush Tucker so important to her desert heritage. Yam Seed and Yam Flower show the ceremonial links of the Anmatyerre people to the Yam in the desert. They celebrate the importance of this native food as a source of sustenance and recognise its ritual importance in women’s ceremonies associated with Yam Dreaming - its propagation to promote abundance, and the traditional obligations to equally share access to food. The colours are chosen from the different seasons of the year and often show yellows, oranges, reds and greens along with other vivid and contrasting colours. The women gathered Bush Melons to be eaten or dried and stored to be consumed when bush tucker was scarce.
Louise’s paintings of the Thorny Devil or Mountain Devil lizard depict the ability of this remarkable lizard to camouflage itself and blend into its surroundings, making the job of predators very difficult. It will change colour depending on the colour of soil it is crossing and the air temperature, turning pale colours when warm and darker when cold. It is this ability that allows it to fully blend into the area that it chooses to live in and makes it nearly invisible
Now based in Darwin, along with two of her artist sisters Jacinta & Lanita, Louise travels back to her homelands regularly. Her works have been exhibited in respected galleries around Australia and are included in collections, both private & institutional, around the world.