Janet Goulder Kngwarreye Awelye-Atnwengerrp, 2005 acrylic paint on canvas

Janet Goulder Kngwarreye

Born 1973 Mulga Bore, Northern Territory.
Anmatyerre people.

Awelye Atnwengerrp


Janet Goulder Kngwarreye was born in 1973 at Boundary Bore in the Utopia region, renowned for its artistic production, and started painting in 1997. She comes from a family of accomplished painters and would have been taught by family members. Her painting style is even, fine dot work, creating linear patterns and her major painting subject is Awelye (ceremonial body paint design).


Atnwengerrp refers to a community based on the Sandover River in the Central desert a region of Utopia. Awelye Atnwengerrp is the body paint designs painted on women and used in women’s bush tucker ceremonies in the country of Atnwengerrp.


(Janet Goulder Kngwarreye) is known for her depictions of Bush Medicine, in her artworks she depicts the leaves of particular plants found in Central Australia which contain medicinal properties. Traditionally women would gather the leaves, boil them and add a resin and use this paste to treat a variety of ailments. Both men and women have important roles to play within the community as healers. Janet also has the appropriate cultural knowledge and permission to depict the Dreamtime stories of the Mountain Devil Lizard and Emu. – Sabine Haider, Director of Central Art Gallery