Mountain Devil Dreaming by Nancy Kunoth Petyarre

Nancy Kunoth Petyarre 'Mountain Devil Dreaming' 153 x 102cm .jpg
Nancy Kunoth Petyarre 'Mountain Devil Dreaming' 153 x 102cm .jpg

Mountain Devil Dreaming by Nancy Kunoth Petyarre


Nancy Kunoth Petyarre c.1938 - d.2009

Acrylic on Canvas

153 x 102cm

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Nancy Kunoth Petyarre was born at Soakage Bore in Utopia circa 1938. She is one of sisters, all acclaimed artists, Gloria Petyarre, Kathleen Petyarre, Ada Bird Petyarre, Violet Petyarre and Myrtle Petyarre.  Nancy Petyarre and her family are undoubtedly the most renowned and prolific family of indigenous Australian artists.   Their homeland 'Utopia' lies 170 miles north east of Alice Springs. Her main Dreamings are 'Mountain Devil' and 'Grass Seed'.  Nancy was noted for her linear style of painting, her wood block prints and her wood figure sculpture but is best known for her depiction of the Mountain Devil Dreaming, sacred native lizard but also her carvings and has exhibited in private and public exhibitions nationally and internationally.

This particular painting, 'Mountain Devil Dreaming', tells the story of a very small lizard that has the ability to change colour according to the landscape.  Not only does the colour change but the actual pattern on the skin changes.  The lizard also camouflages itself by carrying ochre particles on it's back.  This sacred lizard carries a Dreamtime story that is passed on from generation to generation and the swag like lump on it's back is believed to represent the Dreamtime.


National Gallery of Australia

Art Gallery of New South Wales

National Gallery of Victoria

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

The Robert Holmes à Court Collection