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Jeannie Petyarre / Bush Leaves (AK104)

200cm x 68cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: AK104


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Jeannie was born c. 1951 at Boundary Bore Outstation in the Utopia region of the Northern Territory.  She is of the Petyarre (Pitjara) Skin Group and her language is Anmatyerre.  Jeannie is a member of one of the best known Australian artistic families, being sister to renowned Elder artist Greeny Purvis Petyarre, Evelyn Pultara, Rosemary Petyarre and Anna Price Petyarre.  Jeannie’s cousins are the very famous Petyarre sisters Kathleen, Gloria, Violet, Ada Bird  (dcd), Myrtle and Nancy (dcd).  She was encouraged to paint by her aunt, Emily Kame Kngwarreye (dcd), the best known of the female Desert artists. Her close relationship with these painters allows Jeannie to paint the Dreamings of the Utopia people, including Awelye (body paint), Yam Dreaming in many forms/designs, Bush Leaves, Pencil Yam and like her relatives, she does so with meticulous execution and Traditional approach.  Whilst her participation in Batik programmes in the 1980’s has enabled Jeannie to use vibrant colours skilfully, she also executes marvellous Bush Leaf designs in muted creams and browns with incredible movement and memorable impact. 

Jeannie is making an important contribution to the legacy and on-going popularity of the artists of Utopia, and whilst she has an impressive history of Collections and Exhibitions, is an artist sure to reach even further heights in her career. 

Selected Exhibitions

• Cicada Trading – Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Paris, France
• Annual Clear Lake Exhibition of Aboriginal Paintings, Houston, USA
• Bahrain Art Society, Kingdom of Bahrain

• Cicada Trading – Istanbul, Turkey; Milan, Italy

• Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs

• A Picture Story – exhibition of 88 works on Silk from the Holmes a Court Collection by Utopian artist’s, which toured Eire and Scotland

• Utopia Women’s Paintings, The First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project
• S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney

Selected Collections
• The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
• The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth

Jeannie paints the Desert Yam (or Bush Plum) story from her family’s country. The yam grows underground with its viny shrub growing above ground up to one metre high. It is normally found on Spinifex sand plains and produces large flowers after summer rain. The yam is a tuber, or swollen root, of the shrub and tastes much like the common sweet potato. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is still a staple food for the desert aborigines where it can be harvested at any time of the year. It is also renowned for its medicinal properties.

This medicine is used to heal cuts, wounds, bites, rashes and as an insect repellent. In this painting, Jeannie depicts the leaves of the yam paying homage to the spirit of this special plant in the hope that it will regenerate.

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