Atham-areny Story by Angelina Ngale (Pwerle)

Angelina Ngale (Pwerle)

Size: 240cm x 180cm

Medium: Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen

Code: 41374


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Bands of curvilineal work fill every nook of space in this extraordinary piece, pulsing with a life of their own.

It’s the beauty in the lighter colours that really make this piece stand out – sap green, blush pink, rose, peach, indigo and nude tones. Repetition reflects the rhythm of song and dance.

Angelina paints the story of the Atham-areny. The site for this story belongs to the hilly country near Willowra on Angelina’s traditional country north east of Alice Springs.

Atham-areny comes from the Anmatyerre words atham (meaning no fire) and areny (meaning belonging to).

“Akely-amperl arrkay-renem atham-areny-rnem. Ahernel anewaneyel akely-akely”
The atham-areny are very little spirits of the country. They are colourless and live in the ground [or places] where the fire does not belong.

Angelina tells the story that these creatures can be known to come out of their homes and steal and hide the babies in the community. It is important that they stay by the fire. If the atham-areny does touch you, you will feel sick. If this happens a witch doctor must come to sing and dance the sickness out.

In this painting, Angelina has illustrated some of the aboriginal women and children covered in awelye (body paint designs), prepared to sing and dance with the witch doctor to help remove any sickness related to the atham-areny. The circle depicts a sacred site related to this story where the women (this time represented by red U shape symbols) are gathered. Linear patterns in the background again represent body paint designs.


Name: Angelina Ngale (Pwerle)
Skin name: Ngale
Language group: Anmatyerre
Country: Ahalpere
Area: Utopia Region, Central Australia
Born: 1947
Read Angelina Ngale's full bio »


  • Medium: Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
  • Size of painting: 240cm x 180cm
  • Size of linen border: Approx 8cm
  • This painting comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and artist profile.

This painting comes unstretched and rolled in a tube.

Please allow 2-5 week 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).

See our full shipping terms and information » 

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Utopia Lane Gallery specialises in Aboriginal Art from the Utopia region in Central Australia.

We have over fifteen years experience working with the Utopia Aboriginal people.


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