Molly Pwerle’s paintings are often characterized by long, straight lines which criss-cross the canvas.
She paints these lines in one direction, and at times overlays a second set of lines running in the opposite direction. The result of her work is a pattern which resembles loosely woven cloth.
However, Molly Pwerle’s lines have nothing to do with weaving. Importantly for Molly Pwerle and for her expression of her heritage, these lines symbolise dance tracks. Dance tracks are the markings made in the sand by women of Molly Pwerle’s country when they gather to perform their ceremonial dance.
The women stand shoulder to shoulder, each one’s feet slightly apart. While another group of women sits and sings, the barefoot dancers move forward in unison, their toes gripping the sand. Each dancer takes a series of small hops with both feet together, the soles of their feet barely leaving the ground.
As the line of women moves forward, their feet leave dance tracks in the sand.