Monday, February 21, 2011

Collecting Art

For me 2010 was 'the year of collecting art'.  Although I have occasionally bought a painting I loved, or swapped with a friend, last year I bought THREE beautiful, and valuable, works. The first was painted by local artist Peter Hudson, described in my January 20th blog. The other two are aboriginal art by Emily Pwerle and Betty Mbitjana.

Betty Mbitjana
Betty is a member of one of the most renowned painting families in Australia. Her mother was Minnie Pwerle (dcd 2006), her aunt was Emily Kngwarreye (dcd 1996), two of our most prominent artists. One of Minnie’s seven children, Betty has emerged as the artist to carry on the particular legacy of colour and design of her mother’s works. Her paintings depict the designs that the women would paint on their bodies, and the dancing tracks which are made in the sand during women's (awelye) ceremony. Through their awelye ceremonies, women pay homage to their ancestors, show respect for their country, and dance out their collective maternal role within their community.

Emily Pwerle
Emily Pwerle, one of eight children and younger sister of the acclaimed artist Minnie Pwerle, was born in the Utopia Station region of the Northern Territory. Sisters Molly, Galya, Emily and Minnie - worked collaboratively and individually to produce a series of paintings based on ceremony and their Dreaming stories. Like her sisters, and niece, Emily’s main title is Awelye Atnwengerrp and whilst the sisters share the same Dreaming, each one has developed her own unique, contemporary style and interpretation of her Dreaming.

Awelye Atnwengerrp or Women’s Ceremony is represented by designs based on dancing tracks which can only be painted by the Pwerle or Kemarre owners. They are painted on the women’s bodies before ceremony is performed.

These purchases have sorely depleted the 'Art' account and will have to hope for a sale or two when the various exhibitions begin in the winter.  Roll on winter!... and not just for the exhibitions but also the weather.  It's HOT! HOT! HOT! here.


  1. These are beautiful! My favorite is the top one, I love the color and line work.

  2. Me too Jane, but Emily's work is a quieter palette and still has such strength for an old lady (82 I think).