Melaleuca The Healer 2006 Oil on Linen 750 x 1050mm $4500
The Melaleuca or commonly named Ti-tree is known traditionally as a whole pharmacy. Invaluable as a natural medicine in traditional First Nations culture. It’s oil is used today for many healing purposes. I can’t recall anyone ever making the Melaleuca the subject of a painting. It is considered too ugly and insignificant. Yet it is such a worthy tree.
Ti-trees are very common in the Australian bush. Normally small scrawny and covered in hard needle like small leaves they are very hardy. I once spent six hours hiking through a gully of Ti-tree. It was only one kilometer. I know the struggle of a close encounter.
The painting falls in the 2005-2006 figures in landscape series, which explore trees that persevere in difficult growing situations. In persevering they develop character and this brings survival and life, and hope. Thus hope is a result of both judgment and struggle. Like this tree we are called to persevere but also bring healing.