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Artist: Jeannie Petyarre
Skin name: Petyarre
Language group: Anmatyerre
Area: Utopia Region, Central Australia
Born to Alhalkere Jack and Jessie Ngale, Jeannie is an Anmatyerre woman belonging to Alhalkere country in the Utopia Region. She is sister to the late Greeny Purvis Petyarre, a highly acclaimed artist and well respected elder for her country Alhalkere in Central Australia. Jeannie is also niece of the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye, who is ranked Australia’s number one artist on the AIAM index.
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. In 1990, her work was chosen to be part of the Robert Holmes à Court Collection, which toured extensively and was featured in their book “Utopia – A Picture Story”.
The preceding art movement, Works on Canvas, swept through Utopia in the early 1990’s. Jeannie took up painting along with her siblings and first painted in 1995. Jeannie’s earliest works represented the Pencil Yam Dreaming and Awelye, which is the women’s ceremonial body paint design, however her paintings predominately depict bush medicine leaves.