Ritual Body Painting <br>Betty Mpetyane (Mpitjana) Club (b. 1957)
Ritual Body Painting <br>Betty Mpetyane (Mpitjana) Club (b. 1957)

Ritual Body Painting
Betty Mpetyane (Mpitjana) Club (b. 1957)


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Ritual Body Painting
Artist: Betty Mpetyane (Mpitjana) Club (b. 1957)

Region: Utopia, Northern Territory, Australia
Language Group: Anmatyerre.
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Date: 2008 

Dimensions: 157.5 cm (62”) x 127 cm (50”)

The Awelye-Atnwengerrp paintings such as this superb example, have developed directly from Betty’s experience as a ritual body painter, resembling as they do the patterns and designs used in these ceremonies. These vary depending on their subject and the season, and the seniority of the women. In the ceremonial designs, a variety of powders ground from charcoal and yellow and red ochres are finger-painted on the breasts and upper bodies of the singers and dancers. The paintings show lines of varying lengths and widths, and a variety of colors is used to build up these Dreamings.


Betty was involved with the Batik work at Utopia and has been painting for many years. She is represented in the Holmes a Court Collection and her work is represented in the catalog “Utopia - A Picture Story”. Betty paints Bush Plum dreaming from her father’s country. Design elements represent leaf, flower, and body paint design associated with this dreaming. The Bush Plum grows throughout the country and goes from green to black, the fruit is not large but grape-like and sweet to eat. Betty traveled to Adelaide with Julia Murray and Jenny Green and has painted for Rodney Gooch, DACOU Gallery Adelaide, and Mbantua Gallery. Betty is the daughter of Minnie Pwerle (deceased) and sister to Barbara Weir.

Selected Exhibitions:

2008 - The Ultimate Collection, Darwin, NT
2008 - Black & White: Inspired By Landscape, Sydney NSW
2007—Aboriginal Art, White City Sydney, AUS.;
2006 - Colours of Utopia, Fremantle, WA
1990—‘Utopia - A Picture Story,’ an exhibition of 88 works on silk from the Holmes a Court Collection by Utopia artists which toured Eire & Scotland;
1989— Utopia Women’s Paintings - the First Works on Canvas.


The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth, AUS.
Various USA private collections

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