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bernadine johnson

"Women's Ceremony" by Bernadine Johnson


Commission Painting

SIZE: 80 X 70 CM



Bernadine Kemarre is a rising star in the world of contemporary aboriginal art. She was born in 1974 in the Ltyentye Apurte Community (Santa Teresa), approx. 80km east of Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and had a traditional upbringing before attending school in Alice Springs.

Bernadine comes from a family of famous artists including Abie Loy and Josie Petrick Kemarre that have emerged from the Utopia area in the NT. Her sister-in-law is Anna Price Petyarre, one of the most sought-after Central Desert artists. She learned from a young age the art of painting her dreamings, ceremonies, and important bush foods onto canvas.

Bernadine currently lives with her husband Steven and their children in Napperby Station, NT. Her artworks are intricate and colorful and she is an artist sure to succeed.


Bernadine's artwork depicts motifs that give symbolic form to tribal women engaged in cultural activities in a desert environment known as Yuelamu, which the women inherited from their Ancestral Grandmother, who traveled to this Anmatyerre site in the Tanami Desert during the Dreamtime, at Creation.

Represented as symbolic U-shapes, the women are shown in different areas collecting wild-growing bush food, which is given form through star-like shapes that represent berry bushes, while clusters of pool-encased small dots and large dots serve to represent various types of berries and bush plums that the women collect.