Kathleen Petyarre

Born:               c. 1938

People:          Anmatyerre

Language:     Anmatyerre

Area:             Atnangkere




An Anmatyerre speaker, born in c.1938, Kathleen Petyarre's traditional country is Atnangkere, an important soakage on the western boundary of Utopia station which, on account of the abundance of food it provided, was keenly sought out by neighbouring Eastern Arrernte groups.

Kathleen’s father had three wives, and several daughters, who in recent times have managed to hold on to the area as a group establishing a camp at Atneltyeye Boundary Bore. Kathleen's Dreamings include Women Hunting Emu with Dingo, and Mountain Devil Lizard. Like most of the Utopia artists, she took up painting in 1988-9 as a part of CAAMA's Summer Project after previously working in batik. Kathleen is a talented batik artist. The Museum & Art Galleries of NT holds one her batik works. This is a large piece being 6 meters by 3 meters. Currently, Kathleen is producing some beautiful works of art using bodypaint designs.

Kathleen is a talented and focused artist who takes pride in her work and makes every effort to ensure that all of her work presented is of the highest quality.

One definitive highlight and specialty of her present work rests in her ability to contour and form her dreaming paintings attuning this to her symbolism and ceremony. Moreover, Kathleen has the innate capacity to meld together the earthy and timeless perceptions associated with her culture. This interaction is seen and felt through the rigorous high quality standard of work she sets for herself. The end result to this mastery is a transmutation of visual feeling onto her paintings.

Kathleen has exhibited extensively within Australia and overseas. Exhibitions include; 1990, 1991 Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland; 1990 Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland; 1990 Harvard University, Boston, USA; 1990, 1999 Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; 1992 Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Sydney; 1994 Australian Embassy, Paris, France; 1994, 1997 Songlines Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 1995 Ludwig Forum fur International Kunst, Aachen, Germay; 1996 Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; 1996 Old Parliament House, Canberra; 1996, 1998 Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin; 1997 Museum Puri Lukisan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia; 1997 National Gallery of Indonesia, Jakarta; 1997, 1998 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; 1998 Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA; 1998 Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney; 1999 Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth; 2002 Aboriginal Galleries of Australia, Melbourne; The 2001 solo exhibition of Kathleen’s work at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, ‘Genius of Place: The work of Kathleen Petyarre,’ was received which much critical acclaim, the artist hailed as one of Australia’s most talented female artists. In 2002 Kathleen exhibited at Gallerie Commines, Paris, France.

In 1996 Kathleen was awarded the prestigious Telstra 13th National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award. This success continued  in 1997 with the Visy Board Art Prize, Barossa Vintage Festival Art Show, and in 1998 as winner of the People’s Choice Award, Seppelt’s Contemporary Art Award, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Collections include; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide; Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin; South Australian Museum, Adelaide; Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide; Tandanya, Adelaide; Edith Cowan University, Perth; Robert Holmes a Court Collection; Barossa Valley Wine and Tourist Association; Artbank; Morven Estate Collection, Charlottesville, USA; Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, USA; Levi-Kaplan Collection, Seattle, Washington, USA; Museum Puri Lukisan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia; Collection de Musee des Arts d’Afrique et d’Oceanie, Paris, France.