Anna Petyarre | Sandhills

MediumAcrylic on canvas
Size150 x 90 cm

This painting depicts the geological formations and the striations etched into the landscape. Petyarre paints from a topographic perspective and only using fine white dots she captures the beauty of movement in the land.

Anna Petyarre’s biography

Anna Petyarre was born in 1965, and is the daughter of the late Glory Ngarla and niece to the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye. Her country is Alhalkere and her language is Anmatyerre. Anna is a very talented artist and paints ‘Yam”, ‘Wildflower”, ‘Emu’ ‘Wild Potato” and ‘Campsite Dreaming. Earlier in her career, Anna depicted these DREAMINGS using a bright bold linear style; however, recently Anna has made use of intricate dot work with very small blocks of colour. Anna’s paintings have been exhibited extensively throughout Australia and is a well established young Utopian artist. Bennelong Gallery regards Anna as an artist on the rise who will certainly make her mark in the world of Utopia art. She resides at Mulga Bore Utopia Australian Northern Territory approximately 220 km from Alice Springs. This is the place where she currently paints. Anna has painted on and off since early childhood.

Anna Petyarre (Pitjara) commenced full-time painting in the early 1980s when the medium of canvas and acrylic paints was introduced to the community of Utopia. Prior to painting she produced batik. Her main Dreamings, which she depicts in her paintings are: Yam, Wild Potato, Wildflowers, Emu and Campsite. At first Anna Petyarre used very bright colours with minimal dotting; her recent works display a technique of intricate dot work, with small blocks of colour.

Anna speaks Anmatjere and is fluent in English. Anna essentially paints the Bush Yam. This is the dreaming of her grandfather and father’s country. She also paints some body painting and women’s ceremony as well. She paints on a whole range of canvas sizes and also paints on to ancient Aboriginal utensils such as the WIRA and COOLAMON. These utensils are used for carrying water, fruit, berries and even babies through the bush. Anna has other DREAMINGS as well but she does not paint them. Under the careful guidance of Gloria Petyarre, Anna began to paint her own work. Over the last few years, Anna has been learning further skills from the Women painters in Utopia. Anna actively takes part in ceremonies and paints the bodies of the dancers prior to the commencement of each ceremony. She takes the utmost care and pride in her work and endeavors to bring the sensitivity of her culture to canvas.


    • 1996 UTOPIA DREAMING, Soho Gallery, Sydney
    • 1997 Dacou Gallery, Adelaide
    • 1997 Sutton Gallery, Melbourne
    • 1998 Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney
    • 1998 Selected entrant for the the 15th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Award, Darwin
    • 1999 Tandanya, Adelaide
    • 1999 BMG Art, Adelaide
    • 2000 Tandanya, Adelaide
    • 2000 Dacou (in association with AMP), Mary Place Gallery, Sydney
    • 2001 WOMEN’S BUSINESS, Australian Exhibition Centre, Chicago, USA
    • 2001 Japingka Gallery, Perth; 2001 Raintree Aboriginal Art Gallery, Darwin
    • 2002 Galerie Le Temps du Reve, France
    • 2002 Hogarth Galleries, Sydney
    • 2002 Glen Eira City Gallery, Melbourne

AWARDS: 1998 Selected entrant for the 15th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Award, Darwin