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Belinda Golder Kngwarreye

"Women's Ceremony" by Belinda Golder Kngwarreye


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Size: 94 x 89 cm

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas

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Belinda Golder Kngwarreye is an Anmatyerre artist from the Utopia Homelands of Central Australia. She was born in 1986 and her clan country is Boundry Bore. Belinda has strong artistic connections within her family – her grandmother is leading Utopia artist Polly Ngale, and her mother Bessie Purvis Petyarre, and sister Janet Golder are also accomplished, artists. Artists Kathleen Ngale and Angelina Ngale are her great-aunts.

Belinda paints the Bush Plum Dreaming story that she inherits from her grandmother Polly Ngale. Her technique is to render the many colors of the bush plum plant as the fruits ripen. The bush plum is known as anwekety and only fruit for a few weeks of the year. In the Jukurrpa Dreaming story, the bush plum seeds were blown all over the ancestral lands by the winds and they bore fruit on Utopia lands. The first anwekety of the Dreaming grew there and became part of the food of the Anmatyerre people.

 Belinda has painted a Women’s Dreaming story, combining her country with the bush tucker and waterholes that are imperative when the women go out bush for the ceremony which can take up to a week. The women conduct important ceremonies at these sites, including that of the Desert Yam (or Bush Plum) story from her family’s country.

The yam grows underground with its viny shrub growing above ground up to one meter high. It is normally found on Spinifex sand plains and produces large flowers after the summer rain. The yam is a tuber, or swollen root, of the shrub and tastes much like the common sweet potato. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is still a staple food for the desert aborigines where it can be harvested at any time of the year. It is also renowned for its medicinal properties. This medicine is used to heal cuts, wounds, bites, and rashes and as an insect repellent.

During ceremonies, the women pay homage to the spirit of this special plant in the hope that it will regenerate.