Josepha Petrick Kemarre

About the Artist

Josepha Petrick Kemarre

Born: 10th March 1955 Language Group: Arrernte

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Josepha was born and grew up at Santa Teresa Mission, approximately 80kms South East of Alice Springs. Although having grown up with the presence of a western culture, Josepha still lived a mostly traditional life, collecting bush foods, and participating in customary ceremonies.

After having married her husband, Robin Petyarre (deceased), in a bush marriage, they both moved to Mt Swan in the Utopia region, approximately 270km North East of Alice Springs. (Robin is brother to renowned artist, Gloria Petyarre). It was here that they raised seven children of their own children and also one of her nephews.

In 1990 Josepha first tried her hand at painting acrylic on canvas. She has since continued this art, painting for various galleries around Australia. In June 2008 she painted her first painting for Mbantua Gallery and we are thrilled to now have her on board.

Josepha paints the Bush Plum Dreaming from her father’s country. The bush plum grows throughout Central Australia. The fruit isn’t large but looks like a grape and is sweet to eat. Josepha represents the bush plum in her paintings through intricate dot work commonly found in reds, blues and oranges. These colours signify the various ripening stages of the bush plum. Josepha is well travelled as her art has taken her to Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

Josepha now shares her time living between Alice Springs and Harts Range. She rarely visits Utopia anymore although some of her children continue to live out there. One of her sons, Damien Petrick, also paints for Mbantua Gallery and is married to another Utopian artist, Lisa Mills Pwerl.

Although she is more commonly known as Josie Petrick, she has informed our Gallery that her name is actually Josepha and prefers to use that name. Her profile has now been written up using her preferred name.


Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs

Charles Sturt University Collection

Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia Artbank, Sydney


1996  Aboriginal Desert Art Gallery, Melbourne

1997  Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne

1999  Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne

2000  Aboriginal Art Galleries of Australia, Melbourne

2001  Embassy Australia, Washington, U.S.A

2003  Chapel off Chapel Gallery, Melbourne

2005  Wellington Gallery, Central, Hong Kong

2006  Aboriginal Artists from the Western and Central Desert, Without Pier Gallery, Chelthenham, Victoria

2006  Women’s Show, Boscia Gallery, Melbourne, VIC

2008  Josie Petrick: Bush Berry Dreaming, Aranda Art, Melbourne

Further References

Kreczmanski, Janusz B & Birnberg, Margo, Aboriginal Artists: Dictionary of Biographies: Central Desert, Western Desert & Kimberley Region (JB Publishing Australia, Marleston, 2004


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