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Kathleen Petyarre

My Country - 2002

synthetic polymer paint on Belgian linen
122 x 122 cm
Price Realised: $20,740.00

MP #687


Gallerie Australia, SA Cat No. GAKP0802360
Cooee Gallery, NSW
Private Collection, NSW

Katheen Petyarre is best known for her finely wrought, intimate renditions of the vast landscapes in the Eastern Desert. These were created during the epic journeys of her Dreaming ancestor and totem, the tiny Thorny Devil Lizard, also referred to as ‘that Old Woman Mountain Devil’.

This tiny desert creature is believed to have created the vast desert home of the Eastern Anmatjerre people by painstakingly moving the sand, grain by grain since the dawn of time. Petyarre and her clanswomen are the lizard's descendants and have therefore inherited the responsibility in caring for and nurturing the vast landscape that she depicts so intimately and carefully in her paintings.

Petyarre's process leading to these sumptuous paintings took years to perfect. In this painting, she presents an aerial view composition of her sacred Dreaming site (home of the Mountain Devil Lizard) in the vicinity of Mosquito Bore on Utopia Station. It is here, at this site, that the men and women of the eastern Anmatyerre language conduct important secret and sacred initiation ceremonies. This Dreaming site is situated in the artist’s father’s country and the general locality is identified by a group of sand-hills. The painting portrays the area scattered with seeds, summer bush flowers, and Spinifex grasses. The sand-hills conceal a sacred Women’s Dreaming site associated with the green pea (antweth).