The concentric squares, representing the root system of the pencil yam, and the analogous colours create a captivating and mesmerising small artwork.
Greeny is known for his linear work in untraditional colours. I look for thin lines such as this piece, and those that aren't perfectly symmetrical. Greeny was a slow painter, who had to hold his painting hand up with his other hand to keep the lines from shaking. - Curator's Picks
Atnwelarr, the pencil yam, and Kame, its seed, are the subject of this painting.
In the Dreamtime, there are two parts to this yam story. Two different seeds were born that created two different species of yam; one called Atnwelarr which belongs to Alhalkere and Atnangkere countries, and the other called Arlatyeye which belongs to Arnumarra country.
Dots in this painting symbolise the seed while repetitious lines represent the root system (the yams) beneath the ground.
Name: Greeny Purvis
Skin name: Petyarre (also spelled Pitjara)
Language group: Anmatyerre
Region: Utopia, Central Australia
Born: c. 1930
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Lost Legends exhibition I 3 Feb - 31 Mar 2017