Language Group: Alyawarre
Country: Atnwengerrp, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen
Subjects: Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs), Anemangkerr (Small Melon)
Geyla began painting in 2004 with her sister Molly after being encouraged by a very large extended family of artists to experience the pleasure of teaching her stories in a creative way. Geyla is the younger sister of the late Minnie Pwerle, one of Australia's most renowned artists.
Mbantua Gallery Collection, Alice Springs, NT
Geyla paints Awelye (women's ceremony and body paint designs) for Anemangkerr, a small globular fruit that Geyla describes as being 'a little melon'. This fruit is high in Vitamin C and is favoured for its exceptional keeping qualities. Excess fruit is often threaded onto sticks, after removing the inedible black seeds. The fruit can then be dried and stored for a considerable period.
The ancestral dreamtime stories associated with the Anemangkerr belong to Geyla's country, Atnwengerrp. This ancient red land lies in the heartland of Alyawarre Country approximately 200 kilometres northeast of Alice Springs in Central Australia.
Linear designs represent Awelye (women's ceremonial body paint designs). After smearing their bodies with animal fat, the women trace these designs onto their breasts, arms and thighs, singing as each woman takes her turn to be 'painted-up'. Awelye demonstrates respect for the land. In performing these ceremonies they ensure well-being and happiness within their communities.