Looking for Paintings on Gum Leaves

Vol 44 no 2, May 2022
Article from Vol 44 no 2, May 2022

Looking for Paintings on Gum Leaves


Paintings on gum leaves are a unique Australian tradition, which began in the 1850s or 1860s and still continues today. The earliest practitioner recorded is Arthur William Eustace (1820–1907), who was born in England and arrived in Victoria with his family in 1851. He found work as a shepherd near Chiltern in northern Victoria. While minding sheep, he took with him a box of oil paints and paint brushes, and painted bush scenes on the oval gum leaves of red and white box trees found locally.

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The Australiana Society acknowledges Australia’s First Nations Peoples – the First Australians – as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this land and gives respect to the Elders – past and present – and through them to all Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.