Greeny Purvis Petyarre Birthdate: c1930
Language Group: Eastern Anmatyerre Area: Utopia NE of Alice Springs
Greeny Purvis Petyarre is a district tribal elder and ceremonial leader and lives at Boundary Bore with his wife Kathleen and daughters, all of whom paint. He began working as an artist in the mid-80´s. His cousin Gloria Tamerre Petyarre and aunt Emily Kame Kngwarreye are also renowned artists.
Greeny Purvis Petyarre was born around 1940 at Boundary Bore in the region of Utopia and is the oldest nephew of the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye and a highly respected tribal elder.
Greeny is an Eastern Anmatyerre speaker and his country is Alhalkere. Greeny has many sisters including Evelyn Petyarre who is his full sister, while Genie, Rosemary and Dolly Petyarre are half sisters. His father Allugra Jack, Lindsay Bird´s mother and Emily were all blood brothers and sister. He is married to Kathleen and has four daughters. Greeny is a very spiritual painter with a great understanding and love for his country.
His main Dreamings include "Plum Dreaming", "Yam Dreaming" and "An Enriched Country".
"An Enriched Country" is a series of works that Greeny and Emily painted together. These paintings show the root systems of bush tucker, which Greeny has painted, while Emily painted the wildflowers that can flourish after a fall of rain. In actual fact, the story in which Emily based her dreamings around really belongs to Greeny. The story was shared amongst each other because this is the land where they were both born, and Greeny, being the oldest male from the area owns this story, but gave permission to Emily to paint it.
Greeny often uses lines to depict the root system of the bush tucker plant and colourful dots to depict the wildflowers that can be found. He uses bright, vibrant colours, which reflect the love he has for the land, and as a result his paintings are easily distinguishable. In these linear works, Greeny uses only one layer of paint- he very rarely goes back over a line he has painted and as a result these works can differ in texture. Many of Greeny´s paintings also contain outlines of paint pots and even dog prints which were present in many of Emily´s paintings- the result of the artist painting different sections of the canvas during one sitting. His colours usually indicate different stages, seasons or time. For example, Yam Seed Dreaming - seed before germinating, after germinating, when bearing fruit and sometimes after it has borne fruit. Greeny Petyarre paintings are highly sought after by collectors and galleries throughout the world.
His paintings appear to reflect his unpretentious personality - quietly unassuming but with that feeling of endurance and respect. Greeny still lives and paints at Utopia, where private collectors acquire most of his works. In 1996 a large linear striped panel titled "Plum Root Dreaming" was purchased by The Art Gallery Of South Australia and now adorns the walls.