Petyarr began his sculptural training by shaping desert timbers into boomerangs, spears and shields.
In 1988, Petyarr gained access to synthetic polymer paints and began to paint designs on his artefacts. In 1988-89 the artist made a series of wooden poles with snakes or goannas climbing them, showing his leap from functional objects to innovative sculptural forms. He also carved stylised human figures covered with bold body designs - minimal forms that bear striped marks, such as this work.
A Kwetaty is a ritual avenger who chases after those who break the law, taking care to conceal his tracks.
This Kwetaty man is associated with the site of Ngkawenyerr, where the artist now lives and works.
The ancestral Kwetaty man went hunting, leaving his women to collect seeds, witchetty grubs and lizards. On his return, he discovered that a woman from another place had stolen the coolamon full of witchetty grubs. Angered by the woman's theft, the Kwetaty man pursued her to Ngkawenyerr, where he metamorphosed into a large black rock.
This Kwetaty, painted with exuberant body designs, is one of the artist's earliest sculptures of the human form. The body designs, which differ from front to back, are in primary colours.