Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Seattle Art Museum (SAM)
menu

Awelye "Women's Ceremony"

Awelye "Women's Ceremony"

2006

Abie Loy Kamerre

Australian Aboriginal, Anmatyerr people, Utopia, Central Desert, Northern Territory, born 1972

Near the center of Australia, out of a station named Utopia, a group of women have painted their way to fame. They are among the leading names in Australian Aboriginal art and many attribute their fluid use of acrylics to years of experience with painting bodies for ceremonies. Currently at the Seattle Art Museum, a painting of white leaves floating against a black background has become a signature for excellence in this field. It was painted by Gloria Petyarre, whose niece Abie Loy, is now following in the footsteps of her female relatives. She began painting at the age of 22, and was mentored by her "grandmother," Kathleen Petyarre. Each has developed their own style, but all rely on consistency and repetitive structure. Awelye is composed of rectangles that embody a multitude of minor variations. Loaded brushstrokes define the frameworks, while tiny white dots offset a black background. The artist credits ceremony as a source for inspiration, but one outsider's reading of the accumulated surface is to see it as a vast array of windows onto another world.
Acrylic on linen
40 3/16 x 59 13/16in. (102 x 152cm)
Gift of Margaret Levi and Robert Kaplan in honor of Mimi Gardner Gates
2009.19
Provenance: [Gallerie Australis, Adelaide, Australia, 2007]; robert Kaplan and Margaret Levi, Seattle
location
Not currently on view

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

Learn more about Equity at SAM