Artist | KEITH STEVENS

Artist | KEITH STEVENS


Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by KEITH STEVENS of Tjungu Palya Artists. The title is Piltati. [13315] (Acrylic on Linen)

KEITH STEVENS

Piltati

Australian Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) artwork by KEITH STEVENS of Tjungu Palya Artists. The title is Piltati. [13317] (Acrylic on Linen)

KEITH STEVENS

Piltati

Keith Stevens is a senior Pitjantjatjara man born in the far north of South Australia at Granite Downs station where his parents were working in the 1940's. Following in his parents’ footsteps, he was mustering at an early age and had no schooling until moving to Ernabella mission. Keith's family would travel for weekends to their traditional homelands of Piltati and Iwarrawarra. Keith's father eventually settled down with his family close to Piltati creek, where the Nyapari Community now stands. Keith is a respected senior man in traditional law and a strong community leader.

Diana James describes, "Today Keith is a man of both worlds. A highly respected traditional law man and a skilled painter of the Tjukurpa in the modern medium of acrylics. His careful application of thick rich colour in intricate patterning creates a three dimensional moulded topography of the Piltati plateau and gully. Colour floods the landforms with the static tension of the Tjukurpa creation energy metamorphosed into rocky and sandy creek bed. Finely drawn ancient motifs float on the painted ground. Traces of ancestral camps, footprints, spears and digging sticks. Energetic marks of the Tjukurpa recording the story of creation."

Keith’s highly distinctive red textured fields of colour evoke an ancient landscape, the country of the Tjukurpa. His intimate knowledge of his country is referenced in his works with important landmarks depicted across his canvases. These are dynamic works that have a magical quality which sing out and touch the viewer.

Keith comes from an artistic family. His mother was the late Eileen Yaritja Stevens (c. 1919 – 2008) and his uncles, Tiger Palpatja and Ginger Wikilyiri, are well-known for their depictions of Piltati the ancestral story for Nyapari. Keith also paints the Tjukurpa of his traditional land Piltati.

"Nyapari ngura ka Piltati ngura. Minyma kutjara nyinanyi waruangka. Kangkuru ini Wanyinta ka malanypa ini Alartjatjarra. Tjana Maliluku untalpa. Wati kutjara nyangatja, tjukurpa minymaku ngura minyma kutjara, minyma tjukurpa unngu. Tjana mukaringkula kilinangkupai maiku kukaku mukuringkula. Palumpa ngura ngara palulanguru tjana ankupai maiku kukaku mantjintjikitatja. Tjana wana katipai munu wira tjawantjakitjaku munu tjana katipai waru tjangi. Painta nyangatja Piltatiku tjukurpa.”

“This is country for Nyapari and Piltati. The two women from Piltati are sitting by their fire. The elder sister is Wanyinta and the younger is Alartjatjarra. These are Malilu's daughters. This is Piltati. There are two men here and two women. The women story is underground. If people want meat or bush tucker they go to this place and clean around and talk to the area. From here those two women would go out and collect their food. They would carry a digging stick and collecting bowl and also a fire stick. This is Piltati story."

Keith has been receiving high acclaim for his works and is represented in major private and public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).



Keith Stevens is a senior Pitjantjatjara man born in the far north of South Australia at Granite Downs station where his parents were working in the 1940's. Following in his parents’ footsteps, he was mustering at an early age and had no schooling until moving to Ernabella mission. Keith's family would travel for weekends to their traditional homelands of Piltati and Iwarrawarra. Keith's father eventually settled down with his family close to Piltati creek, where the Nyapari Community now stands. Keith is a respected senior man in traditional law and a strong community leader.

Diana James describes, "Today Keith is a man of both worlds. A highly respected traditional law man and a skilled painter of the Tjukurpa in the modern medium of acrylics. His careful application of thick rich colour in intricate patterning creates a three dimensional moulded topography of the Piltati plateau and gully. Colour floods the landforms with the static tension of the Tjukurpa creation energy metamorphosed into rocky and sandy creek bed. Finely drawn ancient motifs float on the painted ground. Traces of ancestral camps, footprints, spears and digging sticks. Energetic marks of the Tjukurpa recording the story of creation."

Keith’s highly distinctive red textured fields of colour evoke an ancient landscape, the country of the Tjukurpa. His intimate knowledge of his country is referenced in his works with important landmarks depicted across his canvases. These are dynamic works that have a magical quality which sing out and touch the viewer.

Keith comes from an artistic family. His mother was the late Eileen Yaritja Stevens (c. 1919 – 2008) and his uncles, Tiger Palpatja and Ginger Wikilyiri, are well-known for their depictions of Piltati the ancestral story for Nyapari. Keith also paints the Tjukurpa of his traditional land Piltati.

"Nyapari ngura ka Piltati ngura. Minyma kutjara nyinanyi waruangka. Kangkuru ini Wanyinta ka malanypa ini Alartjatjarra. Tjana Maliluku untalpa. Wati kutjara nyangatja, tjukurpa minymaku ngura minyma kutjara, minyma tjukurpa unngu. Tjana mukaringkula kilinangkupai maiku kukaku mukuringkula. Palumpa ngura ngara palulanguru tjana ankupai maiku kukaku mantjintjikitatja. Tjana wana katipai munu wira tjawantjakitjaku munu tjana katipai waru tjangi. Painta nyangatja Piltatiku tjukurpa.”

“This is country for Nyapari and Piltati. The two women from Piltati are sitting by their fire. The elder sister is Wanyinta and the younger is Alartjatjarra. These are Malilu's daughters. This is Piltati. There are two men here and two women. The women story is underground. If people want meat or bush tucker they go to this place and clean around and talk to the area. From here those two women would go out and collect their food. They would carry a digging stick and collecting bowl and also a fire stick. This is Piltati story."

Keith has been receiving high acclaim for his works and is represented in major private and public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV).



Exhibitions that KEITH STEVENS has exhibited at

‘An Indigenous Christmas’ (Stockroom Exhibiti…

Contemporary Indigenous Art from Across Australia


Affordable Art Fair (AAF) - 2013

Contemporary Indigenous Art from Across Australia


Tjintu Kutjupa Tjintu Kutjupa - Desert Days

A Collection of Indigenous Art from Tjungu Palya