Anne Ovi (b.1966) was born in Derby in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. She currently lives and works on her traditional Walmajarri Country around Mulan Community. Ovi has been painting since 2015, developing a recognisable style that is intricate, organic, and highly detailed. She typically paints the story for bush medicines and bush foods that can be found on Walmajarri Country – representing the plants that grow here, their growth cycles, and related cultural knowledges. Ovi is currently working as part of a team of women artworkers assisting with the re-opening of the Mulan Arts Centre. She is also an active and celebrated member of the Paraku Rangers Indigenous Protected Areas group, having worked as a ranger there since 19911.
Ovi takes a similar approach to detail and space in her work Pumpunya (bush vines), though from a much closer perspective. The Pumpunya is a native bush vine that grows throughout Ovi’s homeland of Paruku (Lake Gregory), the fruit, seeds, leaves and branches of which are all utilised as a food source and also medicine29. Her zoomed-in, bird’s eye view of the Pumpunya draws the eye deep within its growth cycle – the twists, turns, and bright yellow fruit sprouting along its branches that sprawl outward and inward, leaving no space unturned. Ovi’s free-flowing, organic patterning traces the vine’s growth-path, depicting an intimate and interconnected study of the landscape, and nature’s enduring imprint.
- Poppy Lever (art centre manager, Warlayirti Artists), email to author, March 2, 2021.