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Painting by Papunya Tula artist Katarra Butler Napaltjarri


Katarra Butler Napaltjarri 

Untitled, 2014

46 X 38 cm, Acrylic on linen canvas


    Katarra Butler Napaltjarri first painted for Papunya Tula Artists as early as 2001. Born near the Tjukurla Community in Western Australia in approximately 1946, Katarra was the second wife of Anatjari Tjakamarra, another pre-eminent member of the original group of painters who started the Central Desert art movement in Papunya in 1971.


    Her recent works are clearly distinguishable through her use of bright rich colours and gestural brushwork. Katarra’s fresh vibrant style has resulted in her being exhibited over the last two years in Sydney, Darwin, USA, and most recently in the 28th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award in Darwin. Whilst she has close extended family ties with the Tjukurla community, Katarra also spends considerable time in Kiwirrkura where she works through the Papunya Tula Artists studio.


    This painting depicts designs associated with women’s ceremonies at the rockhole and soakage water site of Ngaminya, to the south-west of the Kiwirrkara Community in Western Australia. This is the artist’s mother country.


    During ancestral times a large group of women gathered at the site to perform the dances and sing the songs associated with the area. During their travels the women gathered the edible berries known as kampurarrpa or desert raisin from the small shrub Solanum centrale. These berries, represented in the paintings by the numerous small circles, can be eaten straight from the bush, but are sometimes ground into a paste and cooked in the coals to form a type of damper.

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