Kathleen Petyarre

DOB: C 1940
Born: Atnangkere
Languages: Anmatyerre, Alyawerre

About Artist:
Kathleen Petyarre was born at Atnangkere, an important water soakage for Aboriginal people on Utopia Station, over two hundred kilometres north-east of Alice Springs in Australia's Northern Territory. She has several sisters who are also well-known artists, including Gloria, Violet, Myrtle and Jeannie Petyarre.

She belongs to the Alyawarre/Eastern Anmatyerre clan and speaks Eastern Anmatyerre, with English as her second language. Kathleen, with her daughter and her sisters, settled at Mosquito Bore on Utopia Station, near her birthplace. She started working in batik in 1977 and was part of the very successful Utopia batik project which saw the community's creations on Paris catwalks and in the V&A Museum and enabled the traditional owners to buy back their land.

In 1996 she was the winner of the 13th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award. It was a controversial win when it was discovered that her husband had lent assistance but was conceded to be a traditional way of painting.

Kathleen Petyarre uses a very fine dotting technique to create her paintings and spends days and even weeks on one painting. Her work has been included in public and private collections internationaly and her work is the subject of a book: 'Genius of Place' ', which was published in 2001 in conjunction with a solo exhibition of her works at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Her work is also included in the permanent collection of the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris.

Kathleen Petyarre has been nominated by Australian Art Collector as being among 'the 50 most collectable artists in Australia'.


1996 Overall Winner of the Telstra 13th National Aboriginal & Torres Straight Islander Art Award, Darwin NT
1997 Overall Winner of the Visy Board Art Prize, the Barossa Vintage Festival Art Show, Nurioopta SA
1998 Finalist Seppelts Contemporary Art Award - Visual Art Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney NSW
1998 Winner People's Choice Awards, Seppelts Contemporary Art Award, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, NSW.
Solo Exhibitions
1996 "Kathleen Petyarre - Storm in Aknangkerre Country" Alcaston House Gallery, Melbourne Vic
1998 Arnkerrthe - My Dreaming, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne Vic, 24th July - 15th August
1999 Recent Paintings By Kathleen Petyarre, Mary Place, Sydney NSW, 4 - 21 November,
2000 Landscape: Truth and Beauty, recent Paintings by Kathleen Petyarre, Alcaston Gallery Melbourne Vic
2000 Kathleen Petyarre, Retrospective Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art Sydney, 2001 Genius of Place, The Work of Kathleen Petyarre, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney NSW.

Holmes a Court Collection
Musee des Arts d'Afrique et d'Oceanie, Quai Branly, Paris, France
Musee des Confluences, Lyon, France
Kunsthaus - Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg, Austria
Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands
The Vroom Collection, The Netherlands
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, USA
Kelton Foundation, Los Angeles, California, USA
Harvard University (Peabody-Essex Anthropology and Ethnology Museum), Salem, Massachusetts, USA
Levi-Kaplan Collection, Seattle, Washington, USA
Kluge-Rhue Collection, University of West Virginia VA, USA
Museum Puri Lukisan, Ubud, Indonesia
National Gallery of Australia , Canberra ACT, Australia
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney NSW, Australia
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide SA, Australia
The Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth WA, Australia
The Museum & Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin NT, Australia
Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide SA, Australia
A.T.S.I.C. Collection, Adelaide SA, Australia
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne VIC, Australia
University of South Australia Art Museum, Adelaide SA, Australia
Edith Cowan University, Perth WA, Australia