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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 Ahakeye by Tanya Bird Mpetyane (SOLD)

    30cm x 30cm

    Shop current artworks by Tanya Bird Mpetyane

    This painting illustrates breasts painted in elaborate ceremonial body paint patterns, embellished somewhat by artist Tanya Bird. Her real life ceremonial designs are found to be much more simplistic.

    The chrome colour scheme is derived from the bush plums called Ahakeye that grow abundantly on her country. Because other colours such as yellow ochre and red ochre are symbolic for other stories, a charcoal background is used as a neutral platform to highlight the black coloured plums.

    While referred to as a bush plum, the Ahakeye are actually little currants found growing on the canthium attenuatum shrub which grows about 3m high. This shrub produces small white flowers, deep green citrus-like leaves and the currents which are black when ripe and very small. This fruit is favoured for its sweet taste and can be reconstituted in water if dry.

    In this painting, the small black dots represent the Ahakeye which have dried and fallen to the ground. 

    Women of Ilkawerne perform ceremony for the Ahakeye where they dance and sing the associated songs. Awelye is the Anmatyerre word for women's ceremony. 

    Colours: white and black on grey background.

    • Medium: Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
    • Size of painting: 30cm x 30cm
    • Size of canvas border: Approx 6cm
    • Background colour: Grey
    • This painting comes unstretched and rolled in a tube.
    • This painting comes with a Certificate of Authenticity and artist profile.