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Greeny Purvis Petyarre / Yam Dreaming (1A)

120cm x 120cm Acrylic on Linen, 2006

SKU: IW3537

$6,200.00 $4,800.00

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c. 1930 – 2010 

Greeny Purvis Petyarre was a tribal elder and ceremonial leader who lived at Boundary Bore, Utopia with his wife Kathleen and four daughters, all of whom are talented artists. His cousins are well known artists Gloria Tamerre Petyarre and Lindsay Bird, and his aunt was the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye, one of Australia’s most famous artists.  In May 2010 Australia lost an aboriginal legend when Greeny passed away peacefully, aged approx. 80 years.
Greeny was a very spiritual painter with a great understanding and love of his country.  His painting content included Yam Dreaming, Emu Dreaming and Body Paint.  A series of works titled “An Enriched Country” was painted by Greeny in collaboration with his Aunt Emily.  Greeny executed the iconography of the root systems of bush tucker, whilst Emily painted the wildflowers that bloom profusely after the rain.  It has been said that the dreaming stories around which Emily based some of her works actually belong to Greeny.  The stories were shared between the artists because they were indicative of the country of their birth.   Greeny, being the oldest male from the region, owned these stories, but gave permission to Emily to paint them.   
Greeny Purvis Petyarre paintings are highly sort after by collectors and galleries throughout the world.  It is widely recognised that his paintings appear to reflect his unpretentious personality – quietly unassuming but with that feeling of endurance and respect.  In 1996 a large linear striped panel titled “Plum Root Dreaming” was purchased by The Art Gallery of South Australia where it can still be viewed today.


– First National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin

– Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs

– Dreamings, Dacou Gallery, Adelaide
– From Beneath the Earth – Utopian Artists, Dacou Gallery, Adelaide

– Dreaming of the Desert, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
– Nangra, Stiching Sind-Jan, Brugge, The Netherlands

– Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney
– Aboriginal Art Galerie Baehr, Speyer, Germany

– Dreamings, Spazio Pitti Arte, Florence, Italy
– Dreamings, Vlaams-Europeesch Conferentiecentrum, Brussels, Belgium
– Museum Dorestad, The Netherlands

– Utopia, BMG Art, Adelaide
– Dacou Gallery, Adelaide
– Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs
– Utopia: Tradition and Innovation. Recent work by the artists of Utopia, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney

– Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
– Contemporary Art of Australian Aborigines, Freiburg, Germany (in co-operation with Aboriginal Art Gallery Baehr, Speyer)
– Art of the Aborigines, Leverkusen and Dormagen, Germany (in co-operation with – Aboriginal Art Gallery Baehr, Speyer)
Dream Paths.  Contemporary Paintings of Australian Aborigines, Stadtische Gallery, Traunstein, Germany (in co-operation with Aboriginal Art Gallery Baehr, Speyer)

– Das Verborgene im Sichtbaren (The Unseen in Scene), Stadtische Gallery Wolfsburg, Germany (in co-operation with Aboriginal Art Gallery Baehr, Speyer)
– Recounting the Essence of Life. Art from Australia. Kunstforum HDZ, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany (in co-operation with Aboriginal Art Gallery Baehr, Speyer)

– The Strength and The Light, Art From Australia, Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg, Germany (in co-operation with Aboriginal Art Gallery Baehr, Speyer)
– Glen Eira City Gallery, Melbourne
– Chapel Off Chapel, Melbourne
– Gallerie Le Temps du Reve, France

– Stadtgalerie Bamberg Villa Dessauer, Bamberg, Germany (in co-operation with Aboriginal Art Gallery Bähr, Speyer)

– Art Gallery of South Australia
– Artbank, Sydney
– Private and corporate collections worldwide

Greeny’s painting depicts design elements associated with the Pencil Yam story from Alhalkere country. The growth of the yam to its maturity is reflected by the coloured lines in the painting. The yam seed is represented by the dot work throughout the painting. Greeny’s artworks appeared to reflect his unpretentious personality, quietly unassuming but with the feeling of endurance and respect.

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