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Body Paint Designs by Bessie Petyarre (SOLD)

40cm x 20cm

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The designs in this painting by Bessie Petyarre represent Awelye (Women's Ceremonial Body Paint Designs). These designs are painted onto the chest, 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 the songs associated with their awelye as each woman takes her turn to be ‘painted-up’.

Women perform awelye ceremonies to demonstrate respect for their country and the total well-being and health of their community.

  • Medium: Synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen