Greeny Purvis Petyarre

Born in the 1930's, Greeny Purvis Petyarre is a tribal elder and ceremonial leader of his country, Alhalkere. He is a very spiritual painter with an intimate understanding and love of his country, with his most recognised and predominate body of works, depicting the root system of the pencil yam beneath the ground.

Region: Utopia, NT

DOB: c 1930 - 3rd May 2010

Significant Country: Alhalkere

Language: Anmatyerre

Born in the 1930’s, Greeny Purvis Petyarre (also spelled Pitjara) is a tribal elder and ceremonial leader of his country, Alhalkere (located in the Utopia region of Central Australia). 

Greeny lived at Boundary Bore in Utopia with his wife Kathleen and four daughters Judy, Maureen, Jedda and Jennifer (all of whom are talented artists). His cousins include artists Gloria Tamerre Petyarre and Lindsay Bird, and his aunt was the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye.  

A very spiritual painter with an intimate understanding and love of his country, Greeny most recognised and predominate body of works, depicted the root system of the pencil yam beneath the ground. The paintings used individually coloured lines, that usually represented different stages in the development of the yam, from seed germination to maturity. White dots were applied to frame each line, representing the ever significant yam seed, kame. As well as the Yam Dreaming, his works also included Emu Dreaming and Body Paint.

A series of works titled “An Enriched Country1 was painted by Greeny in collaboration with his aunt Emily. In the works, Greeny executed the iconography of the root systems of bush tucker, whilst Emily painted the wildflowers that bloom profusely after the rain. Some of the dreaming stories around which Emily based some of her works belong to Greeny. As the oldest male from the region, Greeny owned these stories, but gave permission to Emily to paint them.

  1. Extract One of the works that came to Theodore Bruce Auctions: Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Greeny Purvis Petyarre, (1910 - 1996) Australia, Aboriginal, (1930 - ) Australia Aboriginal, An Enriched Country, oil on canvas 274 x 273cm Other Notes: Collaborative work with Greeny undertaking a detailed dot painting to the centre panel with Emily completing the border in broader brush daubs, Sold together with Certificate of Authenticity from Dacou Gallery 1994


01 - 30 April 2018

Shining Forth - Colour Power

Welcome to our Shining Forth - Colour Power Exhibition. This exhibition….. Proudly presenting the following artists Mitjili Napanangka Gibson, Geraldine Nowee, Judy Napangardi Watson, Pamela Napurrurla Walker and Linda Napurrurla Walker, Alma Nungarrayi Granites, Jorna Napurrurla Nelson,…

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Gallery Gondwana
(Est. 1990)

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