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Roese Pwerle – Body Painting #1

$495.00 inc. GST

Awely (women’s ceremonies/body painting) is expressed through ceremonial activity and also through reverent depictions in art, including, very importantly, body painting. The marks in this print relate to body painting designs.

As they paint the artists often sing song cycles imbuing the work with totemic power. The sacred women’s business is for the sustenance of clan and country: The women hold the collective well-being of the group, through spiritual nurturing (in contrast to the men’s role, which is guardianship of the lore/law).

This print is exclusive to Songlines. Also available framed

In stock


Artist                                      Roese Pwerle

Language Group                  Anmatyerre

Art Centre/ Region              Utopia/ Central Desert

Title & edition number        Body Painting #1 – Edition of 50

Year                                        1998

Size of Paper                         Magnani 300gsm  42 x 60cm : 56 x 76cm

Catalogue Number              RPBP1

Printer                                    Red Hand Prints

Provenance                           Utopia Awely Batik Aboriginal Corporation

The practice of awely is a collective form of matrilineal kinship and sharing of knowledge of the land, customs, and Ancestral Creation (Dreamtime) stories. Teachings are expressed in different modalities such as song, rhythm, melody, gestures and dance, gathering, graphic imagery, totem objects, and spatial orientation. Within awely, there are many differentiated roles and relationships which form a complex whole.

Awely is important to kin bonding, education of country, and the passing on of tradition, which is done through gradual participation and teaching of the young.

Aboriginal Fertility prints

This is one of a range of 14 limited edition screen-prints on paper exclusively available through Songlines. The prints have not been exhibited or offered for sale since 1999, the year they were created by eight Indigenous women artists. Images of the prints were used as slides by Fay Nelson, then Director Aboriginal Arts Board, Australia Council, in her keynote address at the landmark Sydney IVF Fertility Conference held at Darling Harbour Conference Centre.

The prints and Dr Nelson’s essay ‘Aboriginal Fertility’ are documented in the conference proceedings published as Towards Reproductive Certainty – Fertility and Genetics beyond 1999 edited by Robert Jansen and David Mortimer with the assistance of Karen Coote, published by The Parthenon Publishing Group.