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Rosemary Petyarre


Bush Yam Flowers  |  100h x 50w  |  RK433

Not framed or stretched  |  Acrylic on linen

Rosemary Petyarre was born at Utopia, north east of Alice Springs, Northern Territory. She is the sister of famous Aboriginal artist Greenie Purvis Petyarre.

Rosemary was one of a group of Anmatyerre women at the forefront of the art movement in the Utopia area, and was amongst a group of women from Utopia who travelled to Indonesia to learn different techniques for producing batik. Following the Holmes a Court Summer Project, sponsored by CAAMA in 1988-89, she spread her wings and commenced painting with acrylic on canvas.

In her paintings, she incorporates traditional iconography and realistic elements. The themes are primarily bush medicines, yam dreaming and body painting. As a bush woman, she is familiar with her land and its abundance of bush tucker species, medicine plants and native fauna. These are the stories inherited by her, along with important women's stories, and which form the basis of her paintings.

This beautiful artwork represents the flowers of the yam plant. The yam plant was once an important food source for Anmatyerre people of Utopia in Central Australia. The yam plant is celebrated in the Aboriginal women's ‘Awelye’ ceremonies to ensure its continues germination for generations. In this artwork the artist is paying homage to the spirit of the yam plant.

Rosemary’s works are usually characterized by the use of bright vibrant colours and a sense of flowing movement through the leaves.

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