Rosemary Petyarre (Pitjara)

Rosemary Petyarre (Pitjara)

Date of Birth: c.1945

Region: Utopia, Atneltye (Boundry Bore) outstation, Northern Territory

Language: Anmatyerre

Rosemary Petyarre was born in 1945 at Utopia, north east of Alice Springs, Northern Territory. Rosemary was one of a group of Anmatyerre women at the forefront of the art movement in the Utopia area, and was amongst a group of women from Utopia who travelled to Indonesia to learn different techniques for producing batik. Following the Holmes a Court Summer Project, sponsored by CAAMA in 1988-89, she spread her wings and commenced painting with acrylic on canvas.

In her paintings, she incorporates traditional iconography and realistic elements. The themes are primarily bush medicines, yam dreaming and body painting. As a bush woman, she is familiar with her land and its abundance of bush tucker species, medicine plants and native fauna. These are the stories inherited by her, along with important traditional women’s stories, which form the basis of her paintings.

Rosemary Petyarre is the sister of famous aboriginal artist Greenie Purvis Petyarre. Other famous Petyarre artists, who are related by their land, include well known Gloria Petyarre, Jeannie Petyarre, Kathleen Petyarre, Ada Bird Petyarre, Violet Petyarre, Myrtle Petyarre and Nancy Petyarre.