Jessie Petyarre Biography

Jessie Petyarre

Born in 1957 at Macdonald Downs Station, Jessie, named after Don Holt's mother, is also known as Jessie Petyarre Hunter. She was a keen participant in the batik movement from 1977 to 1989, when she first asked the Holt family at nearby Delmore, for painting materials.

Initially, she was influenced by Lily Sandover Kngwarreye, who was her traditional teacher, later she and her sisters developed their own art form based on the flora of their important Country on Utopia, also sugar bag (wild honey) and awelye (body painting).

Jessie's brother, Sandy, is also an artist, and her mother, Molly Pwerle, is the sister of celebrated artist, Minnie Pwerle.

View Jessie Petyarre paintings 


National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
The Art Gallery of New South Wales 
Aboriginal Art Museum, The Netherlands
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane



2016  Utopia Sisters - The Petyarre Women, Delmore Gallery with RedSea Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
2013  Landscape of our Dreaming, Red Poles, McLaren Vale
2012  Utopian art, Without Pier Gallery, Melbourne
2009  East-West, Prairie Hotel, Parachilna, South Australia
2009  Aboriginal art in Korea, Gong Pyeong Art Space, Seoul
2008  Power of Place, Tandanya Adelaide
2007  Standing on Ceremony, Tandanya Cultural Institute Adelaide
2005  Black Ink: Indigenous Prints from the Queensland Art Gallery Collection, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.
2005  Yam Dreaming - Atnwelarre, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs
2005  Small Wonders, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs
2003  Heart and Soul, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs
2002  Galerie Le Temps du Reve, France
2002  Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
2002  Glen Eira City Gallery, Melbourne
2002  Generations, Japingka Gallery, Perth
2001  Japingka Gallery, Perth
2001  Raintree Aboriginal Art Gallery, Darwin
2001  Painting Country, Tandanya, Adelaide
2000  DACOU (in association with AMP), Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
2000  Artists of Utopia, Tandanya, Adelaide
2000  Women’s Business, Australian Exhibition Centre, Chicago, USA
1999  BMG Art, Adelaide
1999  Caring for Country – Artists of Utopia, Tandanya, Adelaide
1998  Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney
1997  The Milky Way Dreaming, Rebecca Hossak, London
1997  Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
1997  DACOU Gallery, Adelaide
1996  Utopia Dreaming, Soho Gallery, Sydney
1990  Utopia: A Picture Story, 88 works on silk from The Holmes a Court Collection that toured Scotland and to Harvard University, USA 
1988  Utopia Womens Paintingsthe First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney.
1985  The Second National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.
1989  A Myriad of Dreaming: Twentieth Century Aboriginal Art, Westpac Gallery, Melbourne; Design Warehouse Sydney (through Lauraine Diggins Fine Art)