Betty Mpetyane Club - My Mothers story
Mainie Australia - My Mothers Story Painting
Artwork Name: My Mother’s Story
Artist: Betty Mpetyane Club
Size: 45cm x 45cm pre-stretched canvas
Betty has painted the Awelye (women’s ceremonial body paint designs) for the ancestral dreamtime stories of the Anemangkerr (bush melon or tomato) which belong to her mothers country, Atnwengerrp, in the Utopia Region. Betty inherited the permission to paint this design by her mother, the late Minnie Pwerle.
The bold linear pattern of stripes and curves throughout Betty’s painting illustrates the Awelye. After smearing their bodies with animal fat, the women trace these desigs into their breasts, arms and thighs singing as each woman takes her turn to be ‘painted up’. Their songs relate to the dreamtime stories of ancestral travel, dance and other totemic plants, animals and natural forces. Awelye demonstrates respect for the land. In performing these ceremonies, they ensure well-being and happiness within their communities.
The concentric circles represent waterholes. The small circles throughout this painting depict the Anemangkerr, and the dot work represents its seeds.