Acryl on linen
180 x 120 cm
This painting shows Kathleen‘s depiction of Arnkerrthe (Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming). It represents her country, the Anmatyerre region in Central Australia. The lizard is a thorny animal that can change its colour to blend with its surroundings. It can also stay very still to avoid predators and to collect condensation on its thorns which runs down the curves into its mouth.
The cross shape in the middle of the painting shows the travels of the emu, each path leads to a place – Tennant Creek to the North (bottom right hand corner), Ti Tree to the West (top right hand corner), Alice Springs to the South (top left hand corner). In the bottom left hand corner is a waterhole, which is a secret place for the Anmatyerre people.
It is specific to men’s business, particularly in Kathleen‘s case for her father and her grandfather. Kathleen made it clear that women are strictly not allowed to drink from this waterhole. She fabled that the emu was travelling along, past the waterhole and saw a kangaroo and asked it for water. The kangaroo did not have any water and told the emu to return back the way it came.