The seed of the atnwelarr – pencil yam and Ilenyenp – one of the varieties of cassia found in the Utopia Region, are the subject of Dolly’s painting. The stories surrounding both of these plants belong to Alhalkere country in the Utopia Region, northeast of Alice Springs.
The straight line through the centre of the painting and the diagonal direction of dots signifies travelling, dancing and story lines. Intricate dot work represnts the yam seeds and the flowers of the cassia. Dolly explains that emus love to eat the delicate golden yellow flower blooms on this shrub during the hot months.
About the artist:
Dolly Petyarre Mills was born in 1948 at Boundary Bore Outstation on Utopia Community in the Northern Territory and her language group is Alyawarr. Dolly lives with her sister, Gloria (Glory) Petyarre Mills, at Boundary Bore and are full sisters to Greeny Petyarre Purvis. She is widely recognised as one of Australia’s leading Aboriginal artists and has work in major Australian and international collections.
The delicate patterning and subtle colours of Dolly’s work depicts her country of Alhalker situated in the Utopia region north east of Alice Springs. She participated in the „Utopia – A Picture Story“ which included 88 silk batiks from Robert Holmes a Court collection. This confirmed the artistic credibility of the Utopian artists.
Dolly depicts Yam Dreamings and Emu Tucker in her paintings. The yam is one of the most stable types of bush tucker gathered in the Utopia region. Intricate dot work represents the yam seeds and the flowers. Dolly explains that Emus love to eat the delicate golden flower that blooms on this shrub during the hot summer months.
Dolly’s paintings are characteristically bold and vibrant. She creates a strong linear design by overlaying thicker dots over the fine dot work.