Anmatyerre and Eastern Arrernte (Aranda)Country:
Denipa Station, Northern TerritoryMedium:
Acrylic on Canvas and LinenSubjects:
Awelye (Women's Ceremony), Arlatyeye (Pencil Yam) Dreaming, Snake Dreaming
Eileen is an Eastern Arrernte woman. Her family (nee Webb) grew up at Harts Range where her brothers and sisters continue to live. Eileen is married to Paddy Bird (passed away in 2015), eldest son of well known Utopia artist, Ada Bird Petyarre. Eileen has eleven children and several grandchildren, many of whom paint for Mbantua Gallery also. Eileen has been painting for Mbantua Gallery since the mid 1990's.
The designs in Eileen's painting are influenced by the Arlatyeye (Pencil Yam) Story belonging to her country, Denipa Station.
In the Dreamtime there are two parts to this story where two different seeds were born that created two different species of Pencil Yam, one called Atnwelarr and the other called Arlatyeye. Arlatyeye produces smaller yams and they are an important food source which can be eaten raw or cooked in hot sand and ashes. The Arlatyeye story is a major Dreamtime story for Eileen's country and ceremonies by her people are performed to ensure its productivity as a food source and life form of the ancestors.