Jeannie Petyarre

Jeannie Petyarre

Also known as: Jeannie Pitjara

Date of Birth: c.1951

Region: Utopia, Northern Territory

Language: Anmatyerre

Jeannie Petyarre (Pitjara) was born c.1951 on the Boundary Bore Outstation of Utopia, Northern Territory. An established artist in Utopia, Jeannie is the niece to the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Her other relatives include a number of other well renowned artists; her sisters being Greeny Purvis Petyarre, Evelyn Pultara, Rosemary Petyarre and Anna Price Petyarre, cousins to the famous Petyarre sisters; Gloria Petyarre, Nancy Kunoth Petyarre, Myrtle Petyarre, Kathleen Petyarre, Violet Petyarre, Ada Bird Petyarre and Jean Petyarre.

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, using desert design on silk and cotton.  

She was encouraged by her aunt, Emily Kngwarreye to continue to paint her family's Yam Dreaming, the style she is now highly regarded for.

All of Jeannie's Dreamtime stories come from the Alhalkere Country and are passed down to her from her father's side. She paints the Yam Seed, Yam Leaf, Yam Flower Dreamings, Body Paint, Mountain Devil Lizard and My Country Dreamings. Jeannie's tribal name is "Angiltha" which means little lizard.

In 1990, Jeannie’s work was chosen to be part of the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, which toured extensively and was featured in the book "Utopia - A Picture Story".