The community of Ampilatwatja made a conscious decision not to paint ‘altyerr’ dreaming stories. The artists paint their country where those stories sit.
Betty paints her country where she finds bush tucker and bush medicine. She is very happy when out bush hunting and gathering, it is were she feels connected to country and culture. Betty draws her inspiration from being out on the land, especially from the hunting and gathering trips where she sees the different seasonal plants, bush foods and medicines, that are producing at that time and observes the ever-changing layered landscapes.
“They are always changing, with the light of day and the seasons of the year.”
Betty enjoys and understands the importance of painting bush medicine plants. They help in the healing of her people and it keeps the tradition and knowledge strong. These particular plants are very plentiful after rain and can be used for numerous conditions, such as skin irritations, flu, coughs and infections.
“Bush medicine plants are used for healing on the body and for drinking. We make this by smashing the plants with a rock, we use the juice and the fibre of the plant..
We collect bush medicine plants when we are out hunting. Different kinds of plants grow during different seasons.
There are lots of different medicines, we know what their stories are as we learnt them from our parents and we teach these stories to our children.”