D.O.B: 1957
LANGUAGE GROUP: Anmatyerre
COMMUNITY: Utopia, NT

Betty Mbitjana continues the tradition of Awelye Body Paint Designs that was closely identified with her mother, the great Utopia artist Minnie Pwerle. Minnie Pwerle’s ancestral Dreamings were “Awelye – Atnwengerrp” and “Bush Melon”, both of which are painted by Betty Mbitjana. The bold linear pattern of stripes and curves throughout these paintings represent the women’s ceremonial body paint design.

The old women still paint the ceremonial designs on their breasts, first with their fingers, and then with a brush called a typale, made from a stick. They paint with red and white ochres.  Then they dance, showing their legs – the old women dance with a ceremonial stick in the earth. The ancestral spirits of the country gave women’s ceremonies to the old women. The senior woman sings, then she gives that ceremony to the others, to keep it strong.

 

Exhibitions

2021 Private Collection | Private View: One Collector’s Passion & Soul, Cooee Art, Redfern
2020 60 by 60 – Small Paintings, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2020 Colours of Spring, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 International Women’s Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 defining tradition | the colourists, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2014 Desert Song, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2013 I colori del deserto, Galleria Isarte (in collaboration with Japingka), Milan, Italy
2012 Heirs and Successors, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2012 Little Gems, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2012 Desert Gold, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2010 Stories from the Centre, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2008 Self Representing Artists, Central Art – Aboriginal Art Store, Alice Springs
2004 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibition; Portland, Nashville and Greenwich, USA
2003 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, TN; ‘The Cove Gallery’, Portland, OR; Mary’s Woods, Portland, OR, USA
2003 Contemporary Aboriginal Art Event, Umpqua Bank in conjunction with Mbantua Gallery, Portland, Oregon USA
2003 Art from the Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, Portland OR USA
2002 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: New City Merchants, Knoxville, TN; Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, TN; ‘The Cove Gallery’ Portland, OR; Urban Wine Works, Portland, OR; Mary’s Woods, Portland, OR
1990 Utopia – A Picture Story exhibition of Central Australian Aboriginal Art & Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
 

See below some of her beautiful pieces for sale: