The designs in this painting are inspired by Betty's mother's country, Atnwengerrp. Her mother Minnie Pwerle was a renowned artist during the late '90s and early '00s. Linear designs represent awelye (women’s ceremonial body paint designs) for Atnwengerrp country, the small circle represents anemangkerr (a small and sacred bush melon) and larger concentric circles represent waterholes on Atnwengerrp country.
Name: Betty Mbitjana
Skin name: Mbitjana (also spelled Mpetyane)
Language group: Anmatyerre
Region: Utopia, Central Australia
Betty participated in Batik workshops in the 1980's which were followed by acrylic workshops in the early 1990's. Her batiks are featured in the Holmes a Court Collection and the publication Utopia – A Picture Story. Her early paintings used colour and shape to render depictions of the Bush Plum Dreaming that belongs to her country, and her paintings have been exhibited extensively throughout Australia.
Betty was a likely successor to paint her mother's designs after her passing in 2006. Betty had been by Minnie's side throughout her six year career and had acted as her unofficial agent. For Betty to take on the designs, with permission from the family, was a reward for all; the community could continue to receive financial benefits through Betty, and most importantly Minnie's legacy lives on.
Read Betty Mbitjana's full bio »
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