Rosemary Petyarre


About the Artists:


Rosemary is an established artist from Utopia, a community located 240 kilometres north east of Alice Springs known for its quality art.
Rosemary was involved in the Batik project of the 1970s, when Western craft practices and traditional Indigenous imagery were combined for the first time. Rosemary was one of the early artists who began to use acrylic paint and canvas in the1980s.
Rosemary comes from a family of respected artists, her aunt is the famous artist Emily Kame Kngwarreye, and she is the sister of Jeannie Petyarre and Greeny Purvis.
Rosemary’s upbringing was spent learning traditional ways bush tucker and bush medicine gathering. Rosemary inherited Dreaming stories associated with this and they form the basis of her works.
The majority of Rosemary’s works depict the leaves of the Kurrajong tree used in the Utopia region to treat a variety of ailments. The women collect the leaves, dry and mix them with Kangaroo fat, in order to extract the plant's medicinal qualities. The significance of the Kurrajong tree and the part it plays in healing is celebrated in the Women's Awelye ceremonies.
Rosemary’s works are characterised by the use of bright vibrant colours and a sense of flowing movement through the leaves.