Tree of Knowledge

The Lord God filled the garden with all kinds of beautiful trees and fruit trees. Two other trees were in the middle of the garden. One of these gave life—the other gave the wisdom to know the difference between right and wrong. Genesis 2:9

We chose this artwork called "Strong Tree" by Miriam Charlie to represent the Tree of Knowledge. It depicts the cycad which is a culturally important plant for many Aboriginal clans.

The seed of the cycad can be made into a type of bread but only with extensive preparation as they are highly toxic in the raw state. "Seeds are first roasted, then chipped and soaked, made into flour and cooked into cakes. The cakes may be stored for long periods and have been used extensively on ceremonial occasions." (Bush Tucker Identikit, Wightman & Andrews 1991)

Artwork - Strong Tree

Artist: Miriam Charlie

Language: Garrwa / Yanyuwa

Community: Borroloola

Miriam is a photographer and has exhibited and won many awards for her work depicting life from an Aboriginal perspective. Miriam has also worked as an Art Centre Liaison Officer and loves to support and encourage other artists.

Miriam had not done much painting herself before coming to Nungalinya to complete the art course. She has used her love for nature and her favourite scriptures as inspiration for her artwork.

Miriam thinks deeply about life and relies on her faith to help her through the tough times. She has enjoyed using painting to reflect and strengthen her faith.

"In our community, these cycads grow real strong. They provide food for our people. We need to stand strong with Jesus and we can feed others with his love."

Artist Video

Hear Miriam sharing about her art journey in this video.