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Violet Petyarre


Violet Petyarre


Violet Petyarre (with her brothers and sisters) has custodial rights of the Arnkerrth Dreaming (Mountain Devil Lizard), which together with its associated narrative, is referenced in all of her works. Violet Petyarre's artistic endeavors commenced 1977 with Batik tie-dying and woodblock printing techniques, in which her Dreaming references were burnt into wood with hot wire and then ‘stamped’ onto fabric. Colours were then applied and these bright fabric panels were then sewn into garments that were welcomed by the Utopia women. As with other Utopia women, Violet Petyarre’s first works-on-canvas evolved through a special local project entitled ‘Utopia Women’s Paintings - A Summer Project 1988-1989’ (The Holmes a’ Court Collection). This project engendered a new direction of artistic output, launching Utopia as a major centre for Indigenous art and placing it firmly within the context of the Australian contemporary art scene. Violet Petyarre’s role as a foundation member of the Utopia arts community together with her artistic individualism has firmly endorsed her position as an important contributor to Australia’s art history.


Artbank, Sydney
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne
The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth

Group Exhibitions:
2004 - Art Aborigine Pour Tous, Galerie DAD, Mantes-la-Jolie, France.
1997 – Songlines Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherhlands.
1996 – Gallerie Australis, Adelaide, Australia.
1992 - Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs.
1991 - Aboriginal Women's Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
1990 - Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Harvard University, University of Minnesota, Lake Oswego Center for the Arts, United States of America; The Perth Institute of Contemporary Art, Perth; Utopia - A Picture Storyan exhibition of 88 works on silk from the Holmes a Court Collection by Utopia artists, which toured Ireland and Scotland.
1988-89 - S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney.
1989 - Utopia Women's Paintings, the First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project.
1988 - The Fifth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

Brody, A., 1989, Utopia Women's Paintings: the First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project, 1988-89, exhib. cat., Heytesbury Holdings, Perth. (C).
Brody, A., 1990, Utopia: a Picture Story, 88 Silk Batiks from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Heytesbury Holdings Ltd, Perth. (C).
Johnson, V., 1994, The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists, Craftsman House, East Roseville, New South Wales. (C).
Nicholls, Christine, The Bold and the Beautiful – the Work of Violet Petyarre, Crossings, the Journal of the International Association of Australian Studies, University of Queensland, December 2002.
Nicholls, Christine, 'Home and Away with Kathleen and Violet Petyarre, or, Travels with my aunts', Art Monthly Australia, Number 138, April 2001, Canberra, pp. 16-20.
1990, Contemporary Aboriginal Art from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, exhib. cat., Heytesbury Holdings Ltd., Perth.
1991, Aboriginal Women's Exhibition, exhib. cat., Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

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