Language Group: Anmatyerre
Country: Alhalpere, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen
Subjects: My Mother's Awelye (Women's Ceremony) Story, Ahakeye (Bush Plum), Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs)
Dora began painting for Mbantua Gallery in 2003. She paints the story of the Ahakeye (Bush Plum) Dreaming and the Bush Berry Dreaming, as well as her mother's story, Awelye (Women's Ceremony), as does her sister, Betty Mpetyane - a well-known and respected artist from the Utopia region. Dora is the daughter of Minnie Pwerle and has four children herself.
Initially Dora worked in the medium of batik along with over eighty other women from the Utopia Region in Central Australia. Her work in batik is featured in "Utopia - A Picture Story".
Barbara Weir is Dora's older sister. With the influences of Barbara, Betty and Minnie, Dora will undoubtedly share her artistic influences for many years to come.
Mbantua Gallery Collection, Alice Springs, NT
The Holmes à Court Collection, Perth, WA
Dora has painted the Awelye (Women's Ceremonial Body Paint Designs) for the ancestral dreamtime stories of the Anemangkerr (bush melon or tomato) which belong to her mother's country, Atnwengerrp, in the Utopia Region. Dora inherited the permission to paint this design by her mother, the late Minnie Pwerle.
The bold linear pattern of stripes and curves throughout Dora's painting illustrates the Awelye. 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'. Their songs relate to the dreamtime stories of ancestral travel, dance and other totemic plants, animals and natural forces. Awelye demonstrates respect for the land. In performing these ceremonies they ensure well-being and happiness within their communities.
Concentric circles represent waterholes and small circles depict the Anemangkerr.