Greeny Petyarre

Greeny, apart from being a very high ranking tribal elder in Utopia, was also the nephew of the late Emily Kngwarreye. His father, Alhalkere Jack, Lindsay Bird’s mother and Emily are all blood brothers and sisters. Greeny was married to Kathleen Kemarre and together they had four daughters.

Greeny’s paintings, especially his Yam Seed Dreamings, are highly sought after by collectors and galleries throughout the world.  Very rarely did Greeny digress from the traditional ochre colours and he painted with the use of lines, medium size dots and also very fine dots. On occasion he was known to use very large, splash type dot work during a period of collaborations with Emily Kame Kngwarreye (Greeny being the eldest nephew).

The colours Greeny used usually indicated different stages, seasons or time.  e.g. Yam Seed Dreaming – before germinating, after germinating, when bearing fruit and sometimes after it has borne fruit. His paintings appear to reflect his unpretentious personality – quietly unassuming but with that feeling of endurance and respect.

Greeny passed away on the 3rd of May 2010 and left behind his wife, Kathleen Purvis, daughters Judy, Maureen, Jedda and Jennifer, his granddaughter Katrina Greeny and many extended family including Lindsay Bird, Gloria Petyarre and Annette Davis, who are all other Utopian artists.


Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide


1995  Dreamings, DACOU Gallery, Adelaide

1995  From Beneath the Earth – Utopian Artists, DACOU Gallery, Adelaide

1997  Utopia: Contemporary Aboriginal Works, Quadrivium Gallery NSW

1998  Dreamings, Spazio Pitti Arte, Florence.

1998  Dreamings, Vlaams-Europeesch Conferentiecentrum Brussels, Belgium

1998  May/August – Moseum Dorestad, Wijk bij Duurstede, the Netherlands

1998  March/August – Private Art Galleries, France

1999   Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T. 2000  Mar-April – ‘Artists of Utopia’, Tandanya, S.A

2000   ‘Utopia: Tradition and Innovation – Recent work by the artists of Utopia’, Hogarth Galleries, Northern Territory

2002  ‘Anmatyerre Men’, World Vision, Walkabout Gallery, Sydney

2002  Light Over Utopia, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, WA

2002  Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A

2002   The Cove Gallery, Portland, Oregon U.S.A (Benefit – OHSU Heart Research Centre)

2002   Urban Wine Works, Portland, Oregon U.S.A (Benefit – OHSU Heart Research Centre)

2002   Mary’s Woods, Portland, Oregon U.S.A (Benefit – OHSU Heart Research Centre)

2002  New City Merchants, Knoxville, Tennessee U.S.A

2003   Hogarth Galleries, Paddington, NSW

2003   Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee U.S.A

2003  The Cove Gallery, Portland, Oregon U.S.A (Benefit – OHSU Heart Research Centre)

2003  Contemporary Aboriginal Art Event, Umpqua Bank, Portland, Oregon U.S.A (Benefit – OHSU Heart Research Centre)

2003  Mary’s Woods, Portland Oregon U.S.A (Benefit – OHSU Heart Research Centre)

2003  Art From The Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, Portland Oregon U.S.A (Benefit – OHSU Heart Research Centre)

2004  Addison Road Gallery, Marrickville, NSW

2004  Aug-Sep – Mbantua Gallery USA exhibition; Portland, Nashville, Knoxville, Greenwich, New York and Philadelphia

2004 The Utopia Men, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs

2005  March – Yam Dreaming – Atnwelarre, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T

2005  May-June – Small Wonders (A collection of 1’x1’ and 1’x1½’ paintings), Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T

2004 Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs

Bio via. Mbantua