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Jeannie Petyarre / Bush Medicine Leaves (IW7421)

SKU: IW7421

128cm x 88cm Acrylic on Canvas, 2015

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$2,800.00

128cm x 88cm Acrylic on Canvas, 2015

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Ochre / Kimberley artworks are shipped on canvas or linen, already stretched, ready to hang unless stated otherwise.

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Artist Profile

c. 1951 – 2023

Jeannie Petyarre (Pitjara) was a prominent artist from the Utopia region. She was born in c.1951 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 she 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 in December 2022 in Alice Springs surrounded by her family.

Selected Exhibitions
• 2022 Connection | Songlines from Australia’s First Peoples in a spectacular immersive experience, National Museum of Australia, Canberra
• 2022 Palya – a tribute to Steve Ariston, Art Mob, Hobart
• 2021 Voyage across Aboriginal Australia – Founders’ Favourites, Fondation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Moitiers, Switzerland
• 2021 Sounds of Summer 2, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle
• 2021 Top 20 Exhibition 2021, Art Mob, Hobart
• 2020 Central Focus, Art Mob, Hobart
• 2020 Top 20 Exhibition 2020, Art Mob, Hobart
• 2019 Summer Show & Art Parade, Salt, Queenscliff, VIC
• 2019 defining tradition | black + white, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
• 2019 International Women’s Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
• 2011 Thinking Outside The Square, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
• 2009 Jeannie Petyarre: Medicine Leaves, Aboriginal Dreaming Fine Art Gallery, Los Angeles
• 2008 Three Petyarres, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
• 2006 Cicada Trading – Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Paris
• 2006 Bahrain Art Society, The Kingdom of Bahrain
• 2006 Annual Clear Lake Exhibition of Aboriginal Paintings, Houston
• 2005 Cicada Trading – Milan, Istanbul
• 1993 Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
• 1990 A Picture Story exhibition of 88 works on silk from the Holmes a Court Collection by Utopian artists which toured Eire and Scotland
• 1989 Utopia Women’s Paintings the first works on canvas

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

Artwork Description

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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Jeannie Petyarre / Bush Medicine Leaves (IW7421)
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