Tribe: Arrente Area: Central & Western Desert Born: Born c. 1945
Josie Petrick Kemarre was born circa 1945 at Santa Teresa , Northern Territory. Having been born and raised in a traditional hunter-gatherer society with a rich ceremonial life, these are the influences and inherited stories that inform her paintings. After marriage to Robin Petrick, Josie moved to Urupuntja, an Aboriginal owned cattle station, located North East of Alice Springs.
Josie has emerged as a bold and innovative artist, painting her Dreamings and the Landscape of “Her Country”. Josie has taken the dot style of painting to new heights with her aerial depictions of her desert birthplace, and surrounding traditional country. Josie has been painting since she was a teenager, but has emerged since the late 1980’s as a leading Utopian artist.
Some of her stories are inherited from her late grandmother, Emily Kame Kngwarreye, who was a very successful artist late in life, and painted depictions of the desert and its plant life changing with the seasons and life giving rains. Other artistic influences include painting alongside family members, especially Gloria Petyarre and Kathlene Petyarre.Main painted story elements are the Bush Plum Dreaming inherited from her father’s country. The plum is a small sweet tasting fruit. Josie depicts the-is small but sweet tasting fruit in different colours ranging from orange, red, blues and greens to represent the various stages of growth and ripeness and the seasonal changes as it is gathered on her homelands.
Josie has artworks Holmes a’ Court Collection and many private and public collections.
Other main Dreamings are based on native plants and bush tucker species in their various stages of growth, as well as design elements associated with Women’s Awelye (ceremony/dancing) and Women’s Dreamings. Josie paints in two distinctive styles, aerial bush tucker Dreamings with overlapping dot work and Women’s Dreaming with each row of dots painted in a different colour and the inclusion of iconic women symbols.
Josie’s works are sought after for their unique layering of dots, which creates the illusion of a three dimensional image. Her command of colour and space is highly evident.
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