Artist Betty Conway
Title Illari Spring, Tempe Downs
Year 2021

Acrylic on linen

Dimensions 66 × 96.5 cm
Art Centre Tangentyere Artists →

Out of stock

Betty Conway

Betty Conway was born at Urrampinyi (Tempe Downs Station), NT. Growing up Betty went away for her schooling years and was later displaced along with all Aboriginal people when they were turned away from the station. Despite this Betty remains very connected to her Country and depicts her home in her work frequently. She is a Traditional Owner and knows all the Women’s Tjukurrpa (Dreaming) sites. Through her frequent trips with family, work trips with the Central Land Council and subsequent painting of these lived experiences, Betty is reclaiming her Country. Currently residing in Mparntwe (Alice Springs) she joined Tangentyere Artists in 2006 where she developed a distinctive style of figurative landscape painting. Betty works with rich colours and manipulates both proportions and perspectives to create illustrative works. She paints the hive of activity at the permanent water source of Illari Spring; horses drinking and children swimming, looking for goanna, and what happens when the car runs out of diesel; “we camp anyway”. Her artworks detail the important role of senior women in teaching, educating, and sharing culture through storytelling. Betty’s work is held by the Art Gallery of South Australia, Artbank and Araluen Art and Cultural Precinct as well as in many private collections.

Artist statement

Every time we go out for the day, the women go for walk to look for goanna while the rest of the families wait back at the camp making fire ready to cook it. The crows hang around waiting for the scraps from the goanna. Kids swim in the creek there. There is a creek that flows from Areyonga to Illari Spring. When it has water horses come to drink – there are bullocks and camels, too many, all drinking from the creek. This is my country, Tempe Downs.