‘Arnkerrthe’ Nancy Kunoth Petyarre

EXHIBITION DATES: 27th February - 23rd March 2019

DIRECTOR'S TALK: Saturday 2nd March from 2pm

Nancy Kunoth Petyarre was an Anmatyerre women and senior artist. She was also one of the acclaimed 7 Petyarre sisters, all artists of note and internationally renowned. Collected over many years this exhibition showcases the various styles and stories for which Nancy was known. 

Nancy was born c1938 ‘out bush’ about 350 km’s north-east of Alice Springs in Central Australia and did not start to paint until she was in her 40s. She had no formal education and knew almost nothing of Western art. Her primary dreaming was Arnkerrthe, the Mountain Devil Lizard. Many of her works depict the lizard through compositions of delicate dotting, replicating the skin of the lizard. There is a fragility to her work that is countered by the strength of form and use of striking colour.

Other works include ‘Awelye’ or Body Painting. For ceremony the women paint designs associated with their dreaming stories onto theirbody. This iconography has been replicated in her artworks. Nancy was part of the original group of women to participate in batik workshops and subsequently acquired by The Holmes a Court collection. Her artwork is also in collection at the National Gallery of Australia.

Nancy Kunoth Petyarre passed away 2009. Her death saw the passing of both a talented artist and senior cultural custodian of the Anmatyerre people. This exhibition is an homage to one of Central Australia’s most skilled and charismatic artists.

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