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Delvine Petyarre’s Stunning “Country”
Delvine’s artwork depicts from a topographical view in fine detail, multi-layered elements associated with her family homelands of Atneltyeye, Utopia in Central Australia. The illustration is important visually and spiritually of country – sand hills, river beds, and significant landmarks for ceremonies.
The leaves, flowers, bark or seeds of certain plants are harvested in season or as needed. This is often done in groups so that knowledge is passed down from older to younger women. Ceremonial sites are where the women gather for girls’ initiation and other cultural Law matters.
The women sit around the waterholes, often depicted in the artwork, with the waterholes being full in the dry desert land. Due to this, there was plenty of bush tucker around for the women to eat during the sometimes very long period of time they camped out for Women’s Business.
Delvine Petyarre is a young woman who is making a huge impression on the art world. Born in 1982 in Utopia, NT, she comes from one of the most famous painting families in Australia. Her style is distinctive and the intricate dot work and overlaid painting technique combined with a flair for colour and attention to detail is sure to take this artist to the top of her profession.
Her mother was the late Gloria (Glory) Ngale who passed away in 2002. Encouraged by her older sisters Anna and Joy Petyarre, both well-known artists, Delvine is now producing excellent and consistent works.
Her mother Glory was a prominent Utopian artist and related by marriage to Emily Kame Kngwarreye (Glory’s husband was Michael Kngwarreye). She was known for her eye for colour, a legacy of her Batik work, which she has passed down to Delvine and her sisters. Glory also favoured the intricate dotwork style that Anna and Delvine have embraced.
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