Josepha Petrick Kemarre

Born: 1955

Language Group: Arrernte

Country: Atitjera (Harts Range) , North East of Alice Springs

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen

Subjects: Bush Plum (also called Bush Berry)

Josepha was born and grew up at Santa Teresa Mission, approximately 80kms South East of Alice Springs. Although having grown up with the presence of a western culture, Josepha still lived a mostly traditional life, collecting bush foods and participating in customary ceremonies.

After having married her husband, Robin Petyarre (deceased), in a bush marriage, they both moved to Mt Swan in the Utopia region, approximately 270km North East of Alice Springs. (Robin is brother to renowned artist, Gloria Petyarre). It was here that they raised seven children of their own and also one of her nephews.

In 1990, Josepha first tried her hand at painting acrylic on canvas. She has since continued this art, painting for various galleries around Australia. In June 2008, she painted her first paintings for Mbantua Gallery and we are thrilled to now have her on board.

Josepha paints the Bush Plum Dreaming from her father's country. The bush plum grows throughout Central Australia. The fruit isn't large but looks like a grape and is sweet to eat. Josepha represents the bush plum in her paintings through intricate dot work commonly found in reds, blues and oranges. These colours signify the various ripening stages of the bush plum. Josepha is well travelled; her art has taken her to Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

Josepha now shares her time living between Alice Springs and Harts Range. She rarely visits Utopia anymore although some of her children continue to live out there. One of her sons, Damien Petrick, also paints for Mbantua Gallery and is married to another Utopian artist, Lisa Mills Pwerl.

Although she is more commonly known as Josie Petrick, she has informed our Gallery that her name is actually Josepha and prefers to use that name. Her profile has now been written up using her preferred name.


Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs

Charles Sturt University Collection

Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia

Artbank, Sydney


1996 Aboriginal Desert Art Gallery, Melbourne
1997 Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne
1999 Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne
2000 Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne
2001 Embassy Australia, Washington, USA
2003 Chapel off Chapel Gallery, Melbourne
2005 Wellington Gallery, Central, Hong Kong
2006 Aboriginal Artists from the Western and Central Desert, Without Pier Gallery, Chelthenham, Victoria
2006 Women's Show, Boscia Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2008 Josie Petrick: Bush Berry Dreaming, Aranda Art, Melbourne


Further References

Kreczmanski, J B & Birnberg, M. Aboriginal Artists: Dictionary of Biographies: Central Desert, Western Desert & Kimberley Region (JB Publishing Australia, Marleston, 2004)