acrylic on canvas
200 x 200 cm
© The artist and Tjungu Palya
Keith’s intimate knowledge of his country is referenced in his works with important landmarks depicted across his canvases. His highly distinctive red textured fields of colour evoke an ancient landscape, the country of the Tjukurpa:
Nyangatja tjukurpa kuka mamu ka kuka mamu pupanyi ka wati palaru wakanu kuka ka palaru kuka muntjinu waltja ungu ka palaru kuka katingu watarrulangru ka nyangatja tjukurpa Nyapariku nguru ngayuku nguru tjukurpa mulupa.
This is the story for the sorcerer man who pretended to be some game and the man came and speared him then took that meat back to his family. After he took some of that meat down to Watarru. This story is for Nyapari. This is my country and this is a true story.
Born: c.1940 Granite Downs SA
Pitjantjatjara language group
Art Centre: Tjungu Palya, Nyapari SA
Keith Stevens is a Pitjantjatjara artist born in the far north of South Australia at Granite Downs cattle station where his parents were working in the 1940s. Following in his parents footsteps he was mustering at an early age and had no schooling until moving to Pukatja (Ernabella) as a young boy where he attended the mission school. Keith's family would travel for weekends to their traditional homelands of Piltati and Iwarrawarra, eventually moving to Piltati creek at what is now Nyapari Community.
Keith is a respected senior man in traditional law and a strong community leader. He comes from an artistic family; his mother Kunmanara (Eileen Yaritja) Stevens and his uncles Kunmanara (Tiger) Palpatja and Ginger Wikilyiri are well known for their depictions of Piltati, the ancestral story for Nyapari.