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Anna Price Petyarre

Other Names: Pitjara 
 Born:  1965 
Region:  Central Desert 
Community:  Utopia 
Language:  Anmatyerre 
Medium: Acrylic on canvas/linen. 
Subjects: Yam Seed, Wildflower, Bush Potato, Emu.  

Anna Petyarre is an eastern Anmatyerre woman, born at Utopia in 1965. Anna’s home is Atneltyeye, Boundary Bore, on the Utopia Homelands, approximately 220 km from Alice Springs. She lives there with her family. She is a grandmother with five grandchildren. Anna, whose mother was the late artist Glory Ngale, has painted since her early childhood. She is related to Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Kudditji Kngwarreye through her grandfather, who was a brother of Emily and Kudditji’s father.  

Anna Petyarre’s subjects include Bush Yam and Yam Seed Dreamings, which are associated Dreamings from her grandfather’s and father’s country at Atneltyeye, or Boundary Bore. As a traditional Aboriginal women involved in sacred ceremonies, Anna also paints Awelye- ceremonial body paint designs – related to women’s ceremony.  

Amongst these is the story of women painting up for ceremony inside a cave, singing of how to attract a man, and of the bush foods preferred by interested suitors. The women also learn the laws that stipulate that they must only encourage the interests of men of a certain clan relationship to themselves. Anna’s more recent work has focused on images of her ancestral country, the finely delineated structures showing the terrain of the sandhill and bush country, often with markings that reveal waterholes and ceremonial sites.  

Anna primarily paints Yam Seed Dreaming, her works are colourful and intricate expressions of the songs and stories associated with her plant totem, the Bush Yam, and its seeds. The Bush Yam has been a staple food and water source for the Anmatyerre people for countless years, and the seeds that form and scatter from the plant are ground up to make flour for damper. During ceremony, it is Anna’s duty to pay homage to the yam seeds and give thanks for their abundance and regenerative qualities. By painting to the tempo of a ceremonial song, Anna expresses her connection to her plant totem in a permanent medium. 

Anna Petyarre is renowned for her fine painting technique and for the care and pride she takes in her work, producing intricate and sensitive paintings that relate to the traditional culture of her Anmatyerre heritage. 

A versatile and creative artist Anna has changed her painting style radically several times over the last decade. Her work is becoming more collectible as she develops her craft and cements her reputation as one of Utopia’s rising talents. 


Collection, Awards & Exhibitions

Art Bank, Sydney 
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney 
Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin 
Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Perth 
Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth 
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane 
The Kerry Stokes Collection, Perth 
Anthropology Art Museum, Perth 
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs 
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne 
Victorian Art Centre, Melbourne 
Fondation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Moitiers, Switzerland 

1998 Selected entrant for the 15th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Award, Darwin  
2014 Ayers Rock Resort, Yulara, NT: Artist in Residence 

Exhibitions: Individual Exhibitions:  
2009 Anna Petyarre, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney 
2008 Anna Petyarre, Japingka Gallery, Perth 
2006 Anna Petyarre, Japingka Gallery, Perth 
2004 Anna Price, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs 
2002 - exhibition with her mother, Glory Ngarla, at Hogarth Galleries, Sydney.  

Group Exhibitions:  
2021 Mid-Winter Mofo, Art Mob, Hobart 
2020 Pointillism Perfection, Art Mob, Hobart 
2020 Top 20 Exhibition, Art Mob, Hobart 
2019 defining tradition | black + white, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney 
2019 International Women's Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney 
2019 Spring Collection: Exhibition to celebrate our beautiful Spring Collection, Brenda Colahan Fine Art,  
2017 Intricate Expressions, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney 
2013 Desert Rouges, Histoires Aborigenes Gallery, Galerie Art Diaphragme, Auxerre, France 
2012 Little Gems, Japingka Gallery, Perth 
2012 Black and White, Muk Muk Gallery, Alice Springs 
2011 Wet Paint, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne 
2011 In Black and White, Japingka Gallery, Perth 
2009 Utopia 09, Neo Gallery, Brisbane 
2009 Grand Opening, Aboriginal Dreamtime Fine Art Gallery, Los Angeles 
2008 Three Petyarres, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney 
2008 Australian Aboriginal Art, Alice Sundown Aboriginal Art, Darwin 
2007 Journeys and Dreams, Gecko Gallery, Broome 
2007 Utopia and Beyond 2007 - Aboriginal Desert Art from East to West, Coo-ee Gallery, Sydney 
2007 Women of Utopia, Addison Road Gallery, Sydney 
2006 Glen Eira Gallery, Melbourne 
2005 Small Wonders, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs 
2005 Yam Dreaming - Atnwelarre, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs 
2004 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibition; Portland, Nashville, Knoxville, Hartford, Greenwich, New York and  
2004 Galerie Le Temps du Reve, Pont-Aven, France 
2003 Art from the Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, USA 
2003 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: New City Merchants, Knoxville, TN; Art and Soul Gallery,  
Nashville, TN; The Cove Gallery Portland, OR; Mary's Woods, Portland, OR 
2003 Heart and Soul, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs 
2002 Galerie Le Temps du Reve, Pont-Aven, France 
2002 Women's Business, Australian Exhibition Centre, Chicago 
2002 Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: New City Merchants, Knoxville, TN; Art and Soul Gallery,  
Nashville, TN; The Cove Gallery Portland, OR; Urban Wine Works, Portland, OR; Mary's Woods,  
2002 Generations, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle 
2002 Hogarth Galleries, Sydney 
2002 Glen Eira City Gallery, Melbourne 
2001 Painting Country, Tandanya 
2001 Japingka Gallery, Fremantle 
2001 Raintree Aboriginal Art Gallery, Darwin 
2000 Artists of Utopia, Tandanya, Adelaide 
2000 DACOU (in association with AMP), Mary Place Gallery, Sydney 
1999 Caring for Country - Artists of Utopia, Tandanya 
1999 DACOU Gallery, Adelaide 
1999 BMG Art, Adelaide 
1998 Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney 
1997 Sutton Gallery, Melbourne 
1997 DACOU Gallery, Adelaide 
1996 Utopia Dreaming, Soho Gallery, Sydney