Awelye ( Body Paint) by Myrtle Petyarre

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Artist:Myrtle Petyarre
Title:Awelye ( Body Paint)
Medium:Acrylic on belgian linen
Size: 122 X 61cm
Code:4344

MYRTLE PETYARRE- AWELYE ( BODY PAINT)

Myrtle Petyarre was born c.1932 at Utopia Station in Central Australia. She is known as one of the well known Petyarre sisters  which includes highly collectable artists Kathleen Petyarre and Gloria Petyarre. All seven of the sisters are well known artists.
Sadly, . In March 2014 Mrytle Petyarre passed away after an illness.  

The curvilinear pattern throughout Myrtle's painting represents Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs) for the Arnkerrthe Dreamtime story. This story belongs to the people from Atnangkere and Alhalkere country in the Utopia region, northeast of Alice Springs.

The women smear their bodies with animal fat then trace these patterns onto their breasts, arms and thighs. Powders ground from red and yellow ochre (clays), charcoal and ash are used as body paint and applied with a flat stick with soft padding. The women sing as each woman takes her turn to be 'painted-up'. Their songs relate to the ancestral travels of the Mountain Devil Lizard as it makes the long journey north to Waramugu country, carrying the ochre for body paint in the small sac on the back of its neck.
 

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