Awelye by Emily Pwerle Acrylic on Linen, Year 2007
When Emily paints 'Awelye Atnwengerrp (women's ceremony)', she employs a series of lines and symbols and often criss-crossed patterns. These are frequently laid one on top of another in colours that are expressive, colourful and dynamic. Her patterns originate in body design and were an integral part of ceremonies. Each one of the Pwerle sisters has developed a unique style and Emily's work is distinctive despite the close contact with her painting sisters. The explosive nature of the artist's painting encapsulates the way of life that survived more than 40,000 years to this day. Emily is now in her nineties and she can recall and produce notions of those days and nights where ceremony was an integral part of her life. This contact with a stone-age culture is however rapidly diminishing - but may still be made through the work of Emily and her sisters.
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