Esther Haywood is part of the next generation of Utopian artists. She is the granddaughter of the late Gloria Petyarre and belongs to the Alyawarre language group and associates with Atnangkere country in the Utopia region, approximately 230kms north east of Alice Springs.
As a child, Esther was surrounded by artists who were depicting their ancient dreaming stories in a contemporary way. Her grandmother taught her the songs, dances and body paint designs to all the stories that belong to her Atnangkere country. Her aunties include the late Ada Bird Petyarre and Kathleen Petyarre and her cousin is Gracie Pwerle Morton. She grew up watching her famous Nanna and Aunties painting and recalls being enthralled by the women of Utopia when they were creating their Batik works in the 1980’s.
Esther carries on painting her Grandmother’s large bush medicine leaf style, she has an incredible eye for detail and use of colour. Bush medicine leaves are healing leaves of the Kurrajong tree used by women from the Utopia region in traditional bush medicines. Through painting, Esther pays homage to the spirit of the bush medicine leaves and ensures its regeneration, so her people can continue to benefit from its medicinal powers.
Esther is an emerging artist to watch.