This painting depicts leaves of the Pencil yam plant and its seeds, which were once an important food source for the Anmatyerre people of Utopia, Central Australia. There are many dreaming rituals attached to this plant and homage is paid by the women in their Awelye ceremonies.
As a bush woman, Rosemary Petyarre is familiar with her land and its abundance of bush tucker species, medicine plants and native fauna. Rosemary is sister to famous Aboriginal artist Greeny Purvis Petyarre.
The Bush Yam has bright leaves with yellow flowers and branches out over a wide area. The plant has a complex root system that can spread up to twelve meters from its stem. It is mostly found close to a water source.
With the Yam Dreaming the artist honors the spirit of the yam plant so that it continues to grow year after year.