Petyarre’s totem, the Thorny Devil Lizard, referred to as ‘that Old Woman Mountain Devil’ underlies and informs all of her work.
This tiny desert creature is believed to have created the vast desert home of the Eastern Anmatjerre people by moving each grain of sand, grain by grain, since the dawn of time. Petyarre and her clanswomen believe that they are its descendents, and have therefore inherited the responsibility for caring and nurturing the vast landscape that she depicts so intimately and carefully in her paintings.
This image features two diagonal fault lines meeting at sacred men’s and women’s ceremonial sites along a dry river bed. The usual shape represents the Rockhole, important Dreaming country, and the painting represents the epic journey of the Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming (Arnkerrth) as it travelled across her traditional country (Atnangker)
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