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    Our vibrant and dynamic artists are from the Utopia region; a large remote area of Central Australia which, until recently, had no government funded art centre. As a result of their pioneering efforts, they have one of the strongest and richest art histories.

  • Awelye for Arnkerrthe (Mountain Devil Lizard) by Nancy Kunoth Petyarre (SOLD)

    210cm x 180cm

    Shop current artworks by Nancy Kunoth Petyarre

    The short parallel pines in this painting represent women’s ceremonial body paint designs(Awelye) for Mountain Devil Lizard (Arnkerrthe) Dreaming. The longer lines stretching across the other direction represent the tracks along the Arnkerrthe's journey, as well as it's thorny covered spine.

    The Arnkerrthe is a gentle little lizard covered in thorns for protection and has the ability to camouflage itself by changing colours.

    In the Dreamtime, it holds a sac of ochre in its neck. The women smear their bodies with animal fat then trace these linear patterns onto their breasts, arms and thighs with this ochre; singing as each woman takes her turn to be ‘painted–up’ for ceremony. The traditional colours used for this ceremony are ochre red, yellow and white.  

    The women's songs relate to the ancestral travels of the Arnkerrthe as it makes the long journey north to Waramungu country. 


    Name: Nancy Kunoth
    Skin name: Petyarre (also spelled Pitjara)
    Language group: Anmatyerre
    Country: Atnangkere
    Region: Utopia, Central Australia
    Born: c. 1934
    Dec: 2009
    Read Nancy Kunoth Petyarre's full bio »


    Lost Legends exhibition  I  3 Feb - 31 Mar 2017  


    This painting comes unstretched and rolled in a tube.

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