Language Group: Alyawarre
Country: Ngkwarlerlaneme and Arnkawenyerre, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen, Wood Carving
Subjects: Yerrampe (Honey Ant) Dreaming, Country, Awelye (Women's Ceremony)
Doreen's mother is Lena Pwerle and her father, Left Hand Sam (1934-2002). She is married to Harold Payne Mpetyane and they have six children: Bronwyn, Violet, Richard, Johnny, Jimmy, Laura. All have painted or produced wood sculptures for Mbantua Gallery.
Doreen's paintings can comprise of colourful patterns of tiny dots when describing her country or the Yerrampe (Honey Ant) Story, or strong, bold, linear work when illustrating Awelye (Women's Ceremonial Body Paint Design). Her paintings always associate with the stories from her father's country, Ngwarlerlaneme, North West of the Utopia Region.
Doreen's first work for Mbantua Gallery was wooden sculptures of birds, lizards and human figures painted up for ceremony, all of which involved a lot of skill - working the hard wood with tomahawk, rasp and file, then scraping the edges with broken glass to smooth the rough edges.
Mbantua Gallery Collection, Alice Springs, NT
Doreen Payne paints the Dreaming story of Yerrampe (Honey Ants) which belongs to her countries, Ngkwarlerlaneme and Arnkawenyerr.
Yerrampe are a sweet bush food for the aboriginal people, found underneath the ground of certain trees. When digging for Yerrampe, care is taken not to kill or hurt them (or not get bitten either!) so that they can go on and collect more honey. The sac on the back of the honey ant is pure natural honey.
Doreen illustrates the women of her countries ('U' motifs) collecting the Yerrampe. They carry with them their digging sticks and coolamons (carved wooden bowls) which are typical instruments used for collecting many bush foods. The concentric circles represent the site where the Yerrampe are being collected and arced linear designs represent Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs). These designs are painted onto the chest, breasts, arms and thighs. Powders ground from ochre (clays), charcoal and ash are used as body paint and applied with a flat stick with soft padding.
The beautiful background designs are inspired by the honey grevillea (Grevillea juncifolia) flower, a 'pretty flower' Doreen says. This flower is called Tharrkarr in Doreen's language which also has a Dreaming story that belongs to her countries.