Kathleen Petyarre

Born: c. 1930

Deceased: 2018

Language Group: Anmatyerre

Country: Atnangkere, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen, Silk Batik

Subjects: Arnkerrthe (Mountain Devil Lizard), Ntyerrm (Seed of the Dogwood Tree), Awelye (Women's Ceremony), Grasses, Bush Seed

Kathleen Petyarre is a highly respected artist from the Utopia movement which was established in the 1980's. She began her art career with the batik movement at Utopia and commenced painting in 1988 as part of CAAMA's Summer Project.

Kathleen has painted consistently, developing a strong individual style - painting her country and stories associated with this such as Mountain Devil Lizard and Green Bean.

Kathleen and her sisters (they all have the same father and three mothers) Ada Bird Petyarre, Gloria Petyarre, Nancy Petyarre, Myrtle Petyarre, Violet Petyarre and Jean Petyarre all paint this Dreaming and are known widely as the prestigious Petyarre Sisters.


Aboriginal Art Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney NSW, Australia

Art Gallery of South Austrlaia, Adelaide, SA, Australia

A.T.S.I.C. Collection, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Collection de Musee des Arts d'Afrique et d'Oceanie, Paris, France

Edith Cowan University, Perth, WA, Australia

Flinders University Art Museum, Adelaide, SA, Australia

Harvard University (Peabody-Essex Anthropology and Ethnology Museum), Salem MA, USA

The Holmes á Court Collection, Perth, Australia

The John W Kluge Collection, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA

The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, California, USA

The Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth WA, Australia

The Kluge-Rhue Collection, University of West Virginia, VA, USA

Kunsthaus - Sammlung Essl, Klosterneuburg, Austria

The Levi-Kaplan Collection, Seattle, Washington, USA

The Mbantua Gallery Collection, Alice Springs NT, Australia

Musée des Arts d'Afrique et d'Océanie, Quai Branly, Paris, France

The Museum and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin NT, Australia

Museum Puri Lukisan, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ACT, Australia

National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Vic, Australia

Peabody Anthropology and Ethnology Museum, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA

Seattle Art Museum, Seattle WA, USA

University of South Australia Art Museum, Adelaide, SA, Australia

The Vroom Collection, The Netherlands


1997 Art Gallery of South Australia, Desert Artists in Residence, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
1997 Museum Puri Lukisan, Dreampower - Art of Contemporary Aboriginal Australia, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia



1996 Joint Second Prize, Open Award Category - The Third National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Commission Art Award, Canberra ACT
1996 Overall Winner of the Telstra 13 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award, Darwin, NT
1997 Overall Winner of the Visy Board Art prize - The Barossa South Australia Vintage Festival Art Show, Nuriootpa, SA
1998 Winner, People's Choice Award, Seppelts Contemporary Art Award, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, NSW
1998 Finalist, Seppelts Contemporary Art Award, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, NSW



1998 Australian Delegate, Belonging to Mother Earth - Indigenous Wisdom and healing Conference, Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA


Solo Exhibitions

1996 Kathleen Petyarre – Storm in Aknangkerre Country, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne Vic
1998 Arnkerrthe - My Dreaming, Alcaston Gallery, Melbourne, Vic
1999 Recent Paintings by Kathleen Petyarre, Mary Place Gallery, Paddington, Sydney NSW
2001 Kathleen Petyarre, Contemporary Art Galley of NSW, Sydney


Group Exhibitions

2003 Contemporary Aboriginal Art Event, Umpqua Bank in conjunction with Mbantua Gallery, Portland, Oregon USA
2003 Art from the Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, Portland OR USA
2004 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: Portland, Nashville, Knoxville, Hartford and Greenwich
2004 Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs
2006 Galerie Clément, Vevey, Switzerland
2006 National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA
2006 Prism - Contemporary Australian Art at the Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
2007 Galerie Rigassi, Bern, Switzerland
2007 Gallery Anthony Curtis, Boston MA, USA
2008 Emily and Her Legacy, Hillside Gallery, Tokyo with Coo-ee Art Sydney in conjunction with the opening of the landmark retrospective exhibition Utopia - the Genius of Emily Kngwarreye at the National Art Centre, Tokyo, Japan


Further References

Brody, Ann. Utopia Women's Paintings: The First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project, Heytsbury Holdings Ltd., 1989 Catalogue No. 7
Brody, Ann. Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court collection, Heytsbury Holdings Ltd. 1990
Brody, Ann. Utopia - A Picture Story, 88 Silks Batiks from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Heytsbury Holdings Ltd. 1990
Boulter, Michael. The Art of Utopia: A New Direction in Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Craftsmen House, 1991
Johnson, Vivien. Aboriginal Artists of the Western Desert, A Biographical Dictionary 1994