Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Vic Cat. No. 10344
Ebes Collection, Vic
accompanied by a certificate booklet from Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings and a photo of the artist with the artwork
The manner in which Minnie Pwerle created her works was the result of an urgency to reconnect to the past and to keep the Dreaming a living reality. Painting after painting depicted the body designs applied to women’s breasts and limbs for the ceremonial revivification of her country.
These bold linear patterns of stripes and curves evoke the movement of the women as they dance during ceremony. After smearing their bodies with animal fat, they trace these designs onto their breasts, arms and thighs, singing as they take turns being ‘painted up’. Then, often by firelight, they dance in formation accompanied by ritual singing. The songs relate to the Dreamtime stories of ancestral travel, as well as plants, animals, and natural forces.
Awelye – Women’s ceremony – demonstrates respect for the land. In performing these ceremonies, they ensure well-being and happiness within their community.Share