Heather Wunjarra Koowootha


9 Sep –
22 Oct 2023

Heather Koowootha draws inspiration from traditional ecological knowledge of plants passed down to her from her mother (of the Yidinji peoples, Yarrabah) and father (of the Wik Mungkan peoples, Aurukun). Koowootha explores the ritual significance of local native flora based on their medicinal and magical properties.

Her botanical illustrations held in the Cairns Art Gallery Collection reflect distinct knowledge systems and cultural practices established by both Koowootha’s parents and their Ancestors. Koowootha visually documents and describes various plants and their uses, incorporating hand-written text into her bold and colourful work. Her illustrations carry important knowledge associated with the medicinal and ritual uses of plants in birth, women’s business, marriage, death and other important ceremonies of the Yidinji and Wik Mungkan peoples.


Reproduction Prints and Cotton/Linen Teatowels

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Heather Koowootha
Nature's Goose Berrys, Fruit trees PicKings 2019-202,
watercolour and pen and paper,
Purchased Cairns Art Gallery and Cairns Art Gallery Foundation, 2021
Commissioned by Cairns Art Gallery

The Cairns Art Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to Elders past and present. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, names or voices of deceased persons in photographs, film or text.