Greeny Purvis Petyarre is a ceremonial leader in his community and he depicts stories from his traditional country of
Atneltyeye, including Dreamings associated with the Emu, Turkey, Yam and Kangaroo. Greeny Purvis Petyarre commenced painting in the mid 1980’s at Utopia along with other artists like Lindsay Bird Mpetyanne and Sandy Hunter. His work incorporates the designs used for body paint in ceremonies and the food sources in the area.
As a senior law man in Utopia he is granted permission to paint the body paint designs. In some paintings he shows the stark lines painted on the bodies of the dancers who perform at male ceremonies. The colours used in his works usually refer to the changing season or time. For example in Yam, the colours represent the yam seed before germinating, after germinating and when bearing fruit. His very detailed use of the white dots represent the seeds of the plants he depicts.
He lives at Boundary Bore, Utopia in the Northern Territory and is married to fellow artist Kathleen
Kemarre. They have four daughters.