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    Our vibrant and dynamic artists are from the Utopia region; a large remote area of Central Australia which, until recently, had no government funded art centre. As a result of their pioneering efforts, they have one of the strongest and richest art histories.

  • Awelye for Arnkerrthe by Ada Bird Petyarre (SOLD)

    30cm x 30cm

    Shop current artworks by Ada Bird Petyarre

    The linear work in Ada’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. This stick is called a ‘typale’. 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 Waramungu country, carrying the ochre for body paint in the small sac on the back of its neck.

    The Mountain Devil Lizardhas the ability to camouflage itself by changing colours. The traditional colours used for ceremony are ochre red, yellow and white.


    Name: Ada Bird
    Skin name: Petyarre (also spelled Pitjara)
    Language group: Anmatyerre
    Country: Atnangkere
    Region: Utopia, Central Australia
    Born: c. 1930
    Dec: 2009
    Read Ada Bird Petyarre's full bio »


    Lost Legends exhibition  I  3 Feb - 31 Mar 2017  


    This painting comes unstretched and rolled in a tube. It has previously been stretched and as a result will have some markings and creases on the black canvas. This has no effect on the painting.

    Please allow 2-5 days for dispatch on this piece followed by express shipping (1-3 week days for domestic shipment or 4-10 week days for international shipment).

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