Thorny Devil Lizard Dreaming – Hailstorm

Kathleen Petyarr

Thorny Devil Lizard Dreaming – Hailstorm by Kathleen Petyarr


Kathleen Petyarr
Thorny Devil Lizard Dreaming – Hailstorm
synthetic polymer on linen
150 x 150 cm

verso: 03A014

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Delmore Gallery N.T. 2003


''Utopia Today'', Rebecca Hossack Gallery, London, 2009

Further Information

In early summer, the men from ''Atnangkere'' would gather to sing for rain. The tail of the monsoon from the tropical north would be felt in the humid north winds. Clouds would start to form on the horizon, and the women would do ''awelye'' (ceremony), where they would 'sing up' those species for which they had custodial responisibilities. Everyone would then live in hopeful anticipation that all elements, both physical and spiritual, would bring most needed rain and consequent germination.
Kathleen 'sings up' several bush tucker species. Those she has in mind here are a grass seed called Ayakere that 'pulls off like wheat', and a small white flower called 'atite'.

Kathleen recalls collecting this as a child, and watching the older women remove the husks from the grass seed and the seeds from the flower heads, and grind them to make a dough that would be cooked in the ashes.

This beautiful artwork is clear evidence of Kathleen's ability to extract the essence of her knowledge and translate it into superb visual form.

Janet Holt