Country: Ahalpere, Utopia, Central Australia
Ahalpere country is part of the region known as Utopia (named by German settlers in the 1920’s) which covers an area of approximately 5,000 square kms, the heart of which is located approximately 300 km north east of Alice Springs.
Betty is married to Paddy Club and is the fourth of seven children of one of Australia’s most famous and successful Aboriginal artists, the late Minnie Pwerle. Betty’s father is Aboriginal artist ‘Motorcar’ Jim Ngala and like her mother, Betty has lived her entire life in her tribal lands. Two of Betty’s sisters died and are no longer spoken of and her half-sister is renowned artist Barbara Weir (Minnie’s first child, by Australian station owner Jack Weir). Betty is also a cousin of leading Aboriginal artists, the Petyarre sisters.
Betty was involved with the Batik movement in the 1970’s at Utopia and has been painting ever since, painting the Bush Plum & Bush Melon Dreaming from her father’s country. Since the passing of her mother, Betty also paints the same design elements associated with Minnie Pwerle. She incorporates all three of her mother’s Dreamtime stories – Awelye (women’s ceremony); Anemangkerr (Bush Melon) and Akarley (Wild Orange). For Betty, these works represent her Mothers Country of Atnwengerrp, and signify her Mothers Story.
Betty is very respectful of her family ties and is honoured to be carrying on her mother’s beliefs and Dreamings. She is an independent artist and carefully chooses for whom she paints and how her work is represented. Betty is a passionate and talented artist who works her colours brilliantly onto the canvas in an energetic style that is reminiscent of her famous mother’s. Betty continues the skilful interpretation of her rich heritage as she evolves and develops her own noteworthy style.
Holmes a Court Collection
‘Utopia - A Picture Story’.