Tanya Bird Mpetyane
Born in 1981, Tanya Bird Mpetyane grew up surrounded by the constancy of painting with her family. Tanya grew up in Ilkawerne country, and speaks the Anmatyerre language. Daughter of artists Paddy and Eileen Bird of Utopia, and granddaughter of renowned artist Ada Bird Petyarre, there was no doubt that Tanya would possess the same skills as her family. Tanya first began painting in her teenage years and to this day her artwork continues to be strongly influenced by the close connection she shared with her grandmother, Ada, who passed away in 2009.
In 2010, Tanya began using black, grey and white designs to depict her subjects. Her subjects include Ahakeye (Bush Plum), Alpar (Rat-tail Plant), Awelye (women’s ceremony and body paint designs), and the Ayara Seed. Her intricate designs may be perplexing to the untrained eye, however the symbols within her paintings tell a beautiful story.
Pictured above: Tanya Bird Mpetyane's piece ‘Awelye (Women's Ceremony) for Ahakeye (Bush Plum)’ - 180x90cm.
Pictured above: Describing the symbols used to portray the stories that Tanya uses in ‘Awelye (Women's Ceremony) for Bush Plum’, which also translates across many of her paintings.
Pictured above: Tanya often includes the Ahakeye (Bush Plum) as a subject in her paintings, and it can be seen close up in all its grandeur above.
In 2013, Tanya had the exciting opportunity to meet with Federico Chiara of Vogue Italia Magazine to contribute to an overall piece promoting tourism in Australia. In the same year she was also a finalist in the 30th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award (NATSIAA).
Pictured above: Tanya with Federico, with Michelle Jackson (International Marketing Coordinator Tourism NT at the time) and Eileen Bird chatting in the background.