Kathleen Petyarre

Birthplace: Spinifex country of Atnangker, Northern Territory
Language: Anmatyerr and English as a second language
Region: Utopia, Central Desert

Brief Biography:
During childhood Kathleen Petyarre traveled around her vast homelands of some 200 square kilometers (125 square miles) with her father, mother, siblings and extended family, according to the seasonal availability of bush foods and water. From this early age, Petyarre learned to understand land navigation and acquired the knowledge of the spatial history of her country. Kathleen Petyarre, her daughter Margaret, and her sisters later settled at Iylenty (Mosquito Bore) near Utopia Station and it was during this time that Kathleen Petyarre became one of the key women involved in the successful claim for the freehold title that lead to the 1979 formal hand-over of the Utopia lease back to its traditional custodians. Kathleen Petyarre, together with her brothers and sisters have custodial rights of the Arnkerrth Dreaming (Mountain Devil Lizard), together with Its associated narrative, which is referenced in all works of Kathleen Petyarre. Kathleen Petyarre's Dreamtime ancestor Arnkerrth, Moloch horridus is a small timid agamid lizard that inhabits the desert plains and sand ridges around Atnangker country, changing colour according to its environment, like true chameleon. In 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2002, Kathleen Petyarre was named as one of the 50 Australia's most collectable artists by the Australian Art Collector magazine.
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