Christine Nicholls, Ian North Wakefield Press Pty, Limited, 2001 – 96 pages
Recognized as one of Australia's greatest living artists, Kathleen Petyarre was born around 1940 in Atnanger country in the Utopia region, north-east of Alice Springs.
When Petyarre was a young child, her paternal grandmother began instructing her in the narrative of her Dreaming Ancestor, Arnkerrth, the Old Woman Mountain Devil, or Thorny Devil Lizard. Kathleen Petyarre's finely wrought and visually compelling paintings depict Arnkerrth making her way over sand-dunes and rockholes in the harsh Australian desert, negotiating extremes of temperature and weather conditions.
The classical theme of the diminutive, vulnerable, but heroic creature triumphing over adversity has seen Petyarre's paintings compared with those of J.M.W. Turner, whose small but heroic sailors struggle valiantly while buffeted by raging seas.
This volume provides comprehensive insight into the artist's life and work, while situating her art practice within national and international contemporary art movements.
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