My Country – Bush Seeds

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The painting depicts the landscapes and vegetation of Antangker – Kathleen Petyarre's ancestral land in the Utopia region, about 250 km northeast of Alice Springs. It is a land of sandy plains and rocky hills, dotted with dwarf trees, shrub formations, and spinifex. During the summer, women gather seeds and perform ceremonies, painting their bodies with Awelye patterns, singing, and dancing. The bush green pea seeds depicted in this painting are an important food source for the local population.

The artist presents a bird's eye view of her country. Very fine, intricate and colourful dotting showcases the plants at various stages of growth. The palette is usually limited to four earth colours: black, white, yellow, and red-ochre. These colours are also present in another significant Dreaming, the Devil Mountain Lizard, associated with the seed-gathering narrative. Clear lines represent the tracks of lizards living in the region.

Kathleen Petyarre's elegant and lyrical compositions in a minimalist style have earned her international acclaim as one of Australia's foremost contemporary artists. She has received numerous awards, and her works are part of collections in Australia and abroad.