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  • Title: batwing coral, red bean tree
  • Artist: Judy Watson
  • Region: Queensland
  • Art Centre: Independent artist
  • Medium: Etching
  • Collection: Replant Folio
  • Dimensions: 33 x 25 cm
  • Edition Size: 40
  • Price ($AUD): $ 550

Artwork Story

Notes:
This print is also available as part of the Replant Folio of 12 etchings. The price of the Replant Folio is $5,500

More info:

The twin leaves depicted are from the normally trifoliate compound leaf of the Bat-wing Coral Tree, (Erythrina vespertilio); however, in this case the third, terminal leaflet was missing. The leaf was from the tree growing near the entrance to the Merrepen Art Centre at Nauiyu. This tree produces red flowers and bright, hard, kidney-shaped, red seeds. These seeds are used in drier parts of Australia to make long, heavy necklaces; these have special significance for Aboriginal women. In the past the black fine ash from the burnt corky bark was rubbed onto the skin of pale-skinned babies to darken it, so that welfare officers would not take them away. This plant also has a number of other uses, including the wood for woomera shafts and the large taproot as food.

 

The scientific name Erythrina is derived from the Greek word erythros, and refers to the red flowers and seeds, which are so distinctive for this species.

 

The small dark round dots on the print are formed using the seed of the Red Bean Tree, (Adenanthera pavonina). The hard, red seeds from this species are also used to make necklaces by some coastal Aboriginal groups in north Australia. The seed interior can be eaten, though the hard red shell is considered toxic and is difficult to break.

Glenn Wightman

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