Doreen Dickson Nakamarra depicts women’s business and initiation ceremonies for women. Ceremonies always involve song, dance and body decoration, the use of particular designs and motifs denote social position and the relationship of the individuals to their family group and to particular ancestors, totemic animals and tracts of land.
Patterns must conform to the ceremony being performed, and the women are not at liberty to adorn themselves with designs of free will. Elaborate ground sand paintings are also made. Ochres and Spinifex ashes are mixed with Kangaroo or Emu fat to make the body paint.
Body painting ranges from simply smearing clay across the face, to intrinsic full body patterning. Doreen’s paintings represent a map of the country and the natural features of the surrounding Sandy Creek salt plains.