Greeny Purvis Petyarre was born some time around 1935 and is now sadly deceased. He resided at the small community of Boundary Bore (Atneltye) in the Utopia Homelands, Central Australia. He was an Anmatyerre man and an elder within his tribal group. Greeny was the senior custodian of several Dreaming stories connected to his country, and has been painting since the late eighties. As an artist, Greeny has an enviable lineage, his Aunt was the late Emily Kngwarreye, one of the most famous painters to emerge from Utopia. His sister, Evelyn Pultara is also an artist, and was the recipient of the General Painting Award in the 2005 Telstra Awards, an event in which Greeny’s work has been exhibited several times.
Furthermore his wife Kathleen Kemarre and their daughters are also talented artists whose work is instantly recognisable. Greeny has been honoured with several solo exhibitions of his work and was selected to represent artists from Utopia at an exhibition held by Nevill Keating Pictures, London, November 2005. His paintings form part of two prestigious Australian Collections, Artbank and The Art Gallery of South Australia. Greeny’s primary theme is his plant totem the Bush Yam (atnwelarr), expressing the same songs and stories as his sister Evelyn and their Aunt (Emily) before them. It is said that his recent, vibrant linear works track seasonal changes in the development of the yam plant and its intricate edible root system that has provided a source of food and water for the Anmatyerrye people since time immemorial.