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Enchanted showcases a new collection of works by high profile artists Gloria Petyarre, ranked number 11 on Australia's Indigenous Art Market, Barbara Weir and Abie Loy Kemarre, as well as less exhibited artists whose artworks enchant. 


Gloria Petyarre'sworks have enchanted the country for over two decades.

One of her large Leaves paintings won the Australian Wynne Prize in 1999, representing the best Australian landscape. This was the first Aboriginal artwork to win this award since its inception in 1897. Gloria's enchanting works represent leaves being swept across the desert floor.

Likewise, Barbara Weir has had a captivated audience nationally and abroad since the 1990's due largely to her Grass Seed paintings. Her artworks also express foliage that appears to move and sway with the call of the wind. 

It was quite a time after Gloria Petyarre began painting Leaves that it became acceptable for others to paint similar designs. Sacha Long Petyarre and Mary Petyarre of Utopia are two who we work closely with have painted some enchanting pieces we couldn't resist. Sacha's large 180m x 120cm Wild Flowers in warm tones being one. 

Bottle work designs

Another trend quite unique to Utopia is the bottle work designs that depict flowers and other elements of country. The use of these bottles is broadly used across Utopia and other regions, especially to create dot work, however the designs mentioned above are particularly attributed to a small group of artists in northern Utopia.

Lucky Morton Kngwarreye using bottles to paint

Sisters Lucky(pictured), Audrey and Sarah Morton Kngwarreye featured in this exhibition are among the founding artists.

If one observed the history of artwork at Utopia, it would appear this style is actually a throwback to the early batik works of the 1980's. These artists have been painting this style for almost twenty years now.

Generally, rough haphazard designs are applied with a brush first as a background. This brushwork creates a dynamic depth to the final artwork. Small plastic ink bottles are then filled with white or lighter coloured acrylics and squeezed out through different sized nibs in various patterns over the top, depending on the subject of the painting.

To the artists up north, the Ilyarnayt Dreaming and the Alhepalh Dreaming are significant and featured predominately as the subject of these artworks. Both are types of Acacia's which produce bright yellow flowers.

Bush medicine

Bush medicine is a common theme to many of the artworks in this exhibition. There are many different types of bush medicine.

Gloria Petyarre has been known many times to attribute her Leaves to the leaves of a native medicine tree. Julie Sandover, featured in this exhibition, paints a bush medicine that has star shaped leaves which are used to make a topical ointment.

Last but not least, Abie Loy Kemarre paints Bush Medicine Leaves called Antyerleny. Her 120cm x 60cm pastel coloured piece featured here is painted with a small fine bristled brush, giving the effect of bush medicine leaves dancing across the canvas.

Please explore and be captivated by the movement, flow, energy, excitement and enchantment of the 24 artworks that make up Enchanted.