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Dora Mbitjana ‘1096’
or $32 x 10 months with
Dreaming: Awelye (Body Paint)
Size: 30cm x 30cm
Dora is the youngest daughter to the late Minnie Pwerle and Barbara Weir’s youngest sister.
This dreaming is titled ‘Awelye — Women’s Ceremony’ and was passed down to her by her sister Betty Mbitjana.
Betty Mbitjana took up full time residence at an aged care clinic in Alice Springs due to health issues and she is no longer painting.
This artwork is apart of the ‘Into the Sunset’ virtual exhibition.
This piece was painted in 2022 and is 30cm x 30cm in size.
Dora’s Awelye paintings depict the designs that the women would paint on their bodies, and the dancing tracks which are made in the sand during women’s awelye ceremony. Through their awelye ceremonies, women pay homage to their ancestors, show respect for their country and dance out their collective maternal role within their community.
A design based on these dancing tracks is painted on women’s bodies before a ceremony is performed, and this same design can be seen today in Dora’s works on canvas and in the works of her mother, sisters, and aunts. Ochre, charcoal and ash are all used to paint designs on the women’s upper bodies, and Pwerle women paint their chests, breasts and upper arms for awelye in ochre, red and white. The designs they use have been passed down for many generations, and only the Pwerle or Kemarre owners can paint them.
All the artwork provided is done on with highest quality linen canvas, acrylic paints, oils and brushes ensuring the longevity of each piece of work.