Kathleen Petyarre paintings

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View Kathleen Petyarre's Biography and Curriculum Vitae

Kathleen’s central Dreaming is Arnkerrthe - the Thorny or Mountain Devil Lizard, a small lizard with sharp spikes on its head and back, which normally roams over a wide area. It moves in a quasi-circular fashion, leaving an exquisite pattern of tiny, not-quite-concentric tracks, with its travels through Kathleen’s country depicted regularly in her artworks. These have become something of a trademark in Petyarre's work in which she recreates the journeys of Arnkerrth through sandstorms, over sand dunes, across hills, through watercourses, and even underground.

The Mountain Devil Dreaming is connected to a large stretch of country called Atnangkere, where Kathleen was born and grew up. It is country that is constantly changing, as does the chameleon-like lizard, from place to place and over time. Kathleen began learning the Dreaming narrative of Arnkerrthe from her grandmother when she was a child growing up in the 1940s. Today, almost all of Kathleen Petyarre’s paintings are about the long journey made by her Dreaming ancestor throughout the expanse of land and her artworks for sale are the jagged delineation of her sandhill country around Atnangkere, often depicting an aerial perspective.

Artworks of profound majesty and precision

The variations in the colour schemes of her work depict her country in different seasons. White – after the ground has been occasionally covered with murky, off-white hailstones in the wet season, browns, reds, black and yellow, reflecting the same country in the dry season, when it is covered with bush seeds, flowers and spinifex grass. The fine dots might represent clouds of sand, sheets of hail, spinifex and flowers, or the bush seeds that scatter over the land, providing food for its inhabitants. Using the ‘aerial view’, Kathleen’s recent paintings also have a strong sense of movement. Kathleen describes this sensation as “…looking down from a little plane, looking down from sky… like looking down on my country during the hot time, when the country changes colour – you know, like looking right down onto the top of big sandhills. I love to make the painting like it’s moving, travelling, but it’s still our body painting, still our ceremony.” 

With a wide range of her art for sale, the team at Delmore Gallery, truly know that Kathleen Petyarre’s paintings and the ethereal, distinctive experience of the land she portrays, have the power to take your breath away, with their grandeur and their delicacy (a pair of attributes that don’t usually sit alongside one another in an individual artwork). We present Kathleen’s art for sale online with the utmost pride and celebration.

Browse Kathleen Petyarre artworks for sale in Delmore Gallery’s online store or contact us for further details.