Katjarra Butler Patjantja – Katjarra, 2023 Tjarlirli and Kaltukatjara Art

Medium: Acrylic on Canvas Size: 91 x 56 cm ID: #23-1221
Price: $2100

    About this artwork

    There is a large rockhole in Patjantja, and so Katjarra’s family spent a lot of time in this area. The Tjukurrpa at Patjantja has both Kuniya (python) dreaming and Kuningka dreaming (native marsupial cat – now protected species).

    The Kuningka attacks the Kuniya, aiming for the fatty areas of the python, which are around the stomach. The Kuniya has travelled from Korrmankuntja (Place of thunder). As the Kuniya was torn open by Kuningka, a small male python fell out. The Kuningka then tried to curse the male python by using magic. Chasing the python around the area, they both then entered the rockhole and turned to stone.

    Katjarra explains the marks around her belly signify her as the python that got attacked by the native cat. The Kuniya is Katjarra’s ancestral being. Before Katjarra was born, while her mother was expecting, she had killed a python at Korrmankuntja. The python signified Katjarra’s spirit, and her transition from the Tjukurrpa world into reality. This event is why Katjarra’s strongest connections are with Patjanatja and Korrmankuntja. She holds the dreaming story and is regarded as Ngurraritja, which makes her the primary elder and speaker for both places.

    At this site there are small round rocks which are the Kuniya eggs. These eggs are depicted in this painting as many small white circles.

    About Katjarra Butler

    Written by Elizabeth Marrkilyi (Katjarra’s niece): Katjarra was born quite close to Kulkurta and Purrungu at a place called Kuun. Kuun is the name of the waterhole there. Kuun is also the name of the yellow ochre. There is also a place very close to Kuun that Katjarra refers to as her home and is one of her Tjukurrpa or dreaming which she paints. It is called Kuurmankutja. This place is home to the two Kuniya (python) dreaming. The other dreaming that she paints is Marrapirnti. Her father was Lilyiwara Tjungurrayi and her mother was Mangkatji Nangala. Katjarra had an older sister Nguya Napaltjarri and younger brother Peter Tjanpaltjarri, now both deceased. Katjarra lived with her parents, siblings and immediate family in the bush as a child, teenager and young married woman. She lived with her family and later with her husband in the country to the west of Tjukurla in the Kulkurta area which is south of the Baron Range in Western Australia. Katjarra lived a traditional nomadic lifestyle only, travelling families within their family’s country and lived off the animals that they hunted and bush food that they collected. They collected and drank water from the rockholes, soakages, springs and claypans (waterholes). All the travelling was done on foot. AWARDS (selected) 2021 - Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, Finalist 2021 - Wynne Prize (Art Gallery of NSW), Finalist 2018 - Alice Art Prize, Finalist 2018 - Port Headland Art Prize, Finalist 2018 - Albany Art Prize, Finalist 2017 - Port Hedland Art Award, Finalist 2016 - Wyndham Art Prize, Winner