Katjarra Butler Tjukurla Western Australia, Australia, b. circa. 1946


Katjarra Butler is renowned for her wide luscious brush strokes and innovatve style. Her artistic process, often involving the application of numerous layers of paint, builds a fullness and depth distinctive in her work. Katjarra combines traditional symbols in a highly contemporary rendering of Ngaanyatjarra stories, culture, and landscape.


Katjarra grew up in the bush with her extended family group. It was in 1966 that they were transported by truck to the settlement of Papunya. Her parents are Iilyiwara Tjungurrayi and Mangkatji Nangala. Katjara often paints dreamings of the site Kuurrmankutja and Marrapirnti. Katjarra was the second wife to Anatjari Tjakamarra, one of the founding painters at Papunya. Her older sister Nguya was Anatjari's first wife. Her father was Iilyiwara Tjungurrayi and her mother was Mangkatji Nangala.

Katjarra was born near Tjukurla in WA (c 1946) quite close to Kurlkurta and Puurrungu at a place called Kuun, where there is a waterhole. Kuun is the name for yellow ochre. There is also a place very close to Kuun that Katjarra refers to as her home and it is one of her tjukurpa or dreaming which she paints. It is called Kuurrmankutja. This place is home to the two kuniya (python) dreaming. The other dreaming that she paints is Marrapinti.

Her paintings depict " tali' sandhills ,"puli"rocks & "kungka" women painting up & preparing for ceremony. Many of her works include"kampurrarpa" or bush raisin which is collected. Her work has a rawness to it evoking the true feel of a desert sand mosaic.