Josie Petrick Kemarre - BUSH SEEDS JP1614

Josie Petrick Kemarre Bush Seeds Australian Aboriginal Art Painting on canvas JP1614


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Artist: Josie Petrick Kemarre 
Skin Name: Kemarre
Born: c.1953
Region: Utopia, Northern Territory
Language: Anmatyerre
Subjects and Themes(Dreaming): Traditional Women's Stories, Bush Fruits, Women's Ancestral Dreamings.



Josie Petrick Kemarre began painting around 1990 and is the niece of the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Josie's first job was working at the Santa Teresa mission as a chef. She met her late husband, Robin there, and after her bush

marriage moved with him to an area of Utopia called Mt Swan. Josie has 7 children and also raised her sister's son. Josie has worked as a translator for the Central Land Council.

Josie's paintings are intimately associated with women's awelye ceremonies (ceremony/dancing) and women's ancestral stories. Based on the native plants of her homeland and her favourite bush tucker species in their various stages of growth, Josie's aerial depictions of Bush Tucker feature overlapping dots with only a semblance of Indigenous iconography, while her "Bush Yam Dreaming" paintings are explosions of wild colour.

In her "Women's Ancestral Dreamings" Josie includes iconic symbols and dots in different colours. These Dreamings depict the landscape and the seasonal cycle of the wild bush berry in the barren desert landscape, transformed into abundant vegetation after rain. Women gather these edible bush berries when ripe, as they are a valuable source of nutrition, and can be ground into a paste and dried. Women's ceremonies for these Dreamings ensure fertility, regrowth, food abundance and increase in subsequent seasons.



  • 2011 "Ninbella –PN/P Exhibition", Ninbella, Florence, Italy.
  • 2008 "Josie Petrick: Bush Berry Dreaming", Aranda Art, Melbourne.
  • 2008 "A Women's Exhibition", RedRock Gallery, Beijing, P.R. China.
  • 2007 "Group Exhibition", RedRock Gallery, Beijing, P.R. China.
  • 2007 "Sydney Art Fair", Aranda Aboriginal Art, Sydney.
  • 2007 "Shanghai Art Fair", Aranda Aboriginal Art, Shanghai.
  • 2006 "Aboriginal Artists from the Western and Central Desert", Without Pier Gallery, Chelthenham.
  • 2006 "Women's Show", Boscia Gallery, Melbourne.
  • 2005 Wellington Gallery, Central, Hong Kong.
  • 2003 Chapel off Chapel Gallery, Melbourne.
  • 2002 RedRock Gallery, Melbourne.
  • 2001 "Dotted Design", Embassy Australia, Washington, USA.
  • 1999-2000 Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne.
  • 1997 Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne
  • 1996 Aboriginal Desert Art Gallery, Melbourne.



  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne VIC
  • Corrigan Collection
  • Holmes a Court Collection, Perth WA
  • Kerry Stokes Collection
  • Artbank, Sydney NSW
  • Charles Sturt University Collection
  • Mem Aziz Collection, Melbourne


SOURCE: Birnberg, M & Kreczmanski, JB 2004, Aboriginal artists dictionary of biographies: Western Desert, Central Desert and Kimberley Region, 1st edn., JB Publishing, Marleston.

This painting represents the Bush Seed that can be found around Utopia after rain fall. The vibrant coloring in the painting reflects the landscape of abundant vedetation.


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