Indigenous Australian art gallery est. 1989.

Violet Petyarre Biography and CV

View Violet Petyarre paintings

An Eastern Anmatyere woman born in 1942, Violet and her sisters Kathleen, Gloria, Ada Bird, Nancy, Myrtle and Jean Petyarre all shared the experience of training in the batik technique with Susie Bryce, a crafts instructor, and Yipati, a Pitjantjatjara artist from Ernabella in 1977. They were subsequently were part of the batik group run so well by Jenny Green and Julia Murray from 1978 to 1988.

Violet Petyarre is the elder sister of Gloria Petyarre; Gloria often refers to Violet for intimate details of the many plants involved in their ceremonial life.


In April 1989, Violet and all of her sisters were commissioned by Delmore Gallery to paint on linen. The resulting paintings were highly sought after. 

Like her sister, the Mountain devil lizard is the main Dreaming that Violet paints, creating her own distinctive interpretation of this unique desert animal.

In her earlier artworks, Violet's body painting (awelye) series portrayed a more structured composition and strikingly simplistic form. More recently, Violet has continued her artistic experimentation through the introduction of bold new colours, giving her celebrated works a bright new contemporary lustre and appeal. 

Violet Petyarre has established herself as a significant figure of the Utopian and Australian contemporary art movements. 

Violet took part in the Summer project in 1988/89 at the S.H. Ervin Gallery in Sydney, a world tour of Ireland, Scotland, the USA (Harvard University, the University of Minnesota, Oregon, St. Louis, Missouri) and The Art Gallery of NSW in 1990, with the Holmes a Court Collection.



National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Holmes á Court, Perth


Kelton Foundation, Los Angeles, USA

Adelaide Festival Centre Trust Collection, Adelaide, South Australia

The Adelaide University Art Collection, Adelaide, SA, Australia

The Australian Embassy Collection, Jakarta, Indonesia



2002     Solo Exhibition, Fire-works Gallery, Brisbane, Qld.



2017  Utopia: the artists of Delmore Downs, Yaama Ganu Gallery, Moree

2016     Utopia Sisters - The Petyarre Women, Delmore Gallery with RedSea Gallery, Brisbane, QLD

2003   Glen Eira City Council Gallery, Melbourne

1997   Songlines Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

1996   Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

1996   Gallerie Australis, Adelaide

1990   Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland

1990   James Ford Bell Museum, University of Minnesota, USA

1989   S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney

1989   Coventry Gallery, Sydney

1989   Orange Regional Gallery

1989   Tandanya, Adelaide


1998   Australian Delegate, “Belonging to Mother Earth” - Indigenous Wisdom and Healing Conference, Virginia Beach, Virginia, U.S.A.