1956 - 2022
Born: Boundary Bore, Utopia, NT
LANGUAGE GROUP: Anmatyerre
COMMUNITY: Utopia, NT
Jeannie Petyarre (Pitjara) was a prominent artist from the Utopia region. She was born in c.1956 on the Boundary Bore Outstation of Utopia in Central Australia. She was the niece to Emily Kame Kngwarreye, one of Australia's most significant artists.
All of Jeannie's Dreamtime stories came from Alhalkere Country and were passed down to her from her father's side. Jeannie painted the Yam Seed, Yam Leaf, Yam Flower Dreamings, body paint, Mountain Devil Lizard and My Country Dreamings. Jeannie's tribal name was "Angiltha" which means little lizard.
In the early 1980's, when Jeannie was living at Boundary Bore Outstation with her family, husband Henry Long Kemarre and their six children, Jeannie was introduced to the art of Batik. Jeannie was encouraged by her aunt, Emily Kngwarreye to continue to paint her family's Yam Dreaming. Jeannie's paintings were included in the first touring exhibition of Utopia art in 1989. In 1990, her work was chosen to be part of the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, which toured extensively and was featured in their book "Utopia - A Picture Story".
In the years to come Jeannie became well known for her colourful, flowing paintings of Bush Yam Leaves. Her popularity never wavered and was recently included in a 'Founders' Favourites' exhibition at the Fondation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture museum in Switzerland, and the 2022 'Connection' exhibition at the National Museum of Australia.
After a brief illness, Jeannie Petyarre passed away on the 27th December 2022 in Alice Springs surrounded by her family.
Copyright Kate Owen Gallery, January 2023