Margaret Turner Petyarre

COMMUNITY: UTOPIA, ALICE SPRINGS, NT

LANGUAGE: ANMATYERRE

B. 1945

Margaret Turner Petyarre is a Aboriginal of the Alyawarre Tribe located in the Northern Territory of Australia. Margaret was born at Lake Nash; near the Queensland border.

Margaret lives in Arlparra in the Utopia Region, north east of Alice Springs. She worked in batik before commencing to paint with acrylic on canvas. In her depiction of traditional stories she has moved from the fine dotting technique employed in her batik work to realist elements and now has reduced the iconographic elements to a minimalist use of fine dots.

The influence of batik can be seen as she delineates the many tiny curves of her awelye, which interweave to create her elaborate and involved images. Despite her long association with Utopia’s batik movement, it is only recently that her paintings have achieved the attention they justly deserve. The subjects of her paintings include Body Paint, and her Dreamings of Bush Medicine and Bush Tucker, including the Bush Orange and womens ceremony.


Margaret painted on canvas in the early 1990's and her work was taken to Sydney for exhibitions. In the year 2000 she visited Sydney with other ladies from Utopia to exhibit their works. The exhibition was well received.


In 1988 Margaret was one of the artists involved with the widely publicized Summer Batik Project, the exhibits which are held in the Robert Holmes à Court Collection. She was also selected as a finalist for the 2001 Australian Business Arts Foundation awards.


Selected Exhibitions:

1996 ‘Nangara’ Stichting Singt-Jan, Brugge, The NetherlandsMargaret Turner Petyarre with Mem

2004 redrock gallery, Melbourne

2005 “Opening Exibition” redrock gallery South Yarra

2006 redrock gallery, Group Exhbition, Relocation Exhibition,South Yarra, Aust

2007 June, redrock gallery, Group Exhibition, Gallery Grand Opening Beijing, P.R China

2007 July, redrock gallery, Group Exhibition China World Exhibition Centre, Beijing P.R China

2007 Auguest, redrock gallery, Group Exhibition, Grand Hyatt Hotel,Beijing, P.R China

2007 November, redrock gallery, Group Exhibition, Internation Art Expo, Beijing, P.R China

2008 July redrock gallery,Beijing, 2nd Gallery Opening, Group Exhibition, Beijing, P.R China

2008 November redrock gallery, Beijing: A Women’s Exhibition Beijing, P.R China

2010 June, redrock gallery, Solo Exhibition, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia



Selected Collections:

Museum of Victoria, Melbourne

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

The Holmes à Court Collection

Ebes Collection

Mem Aziz Collection

Various private and commercial collections throughout Australia and the world, including USA,UK, China, France, Italy, Germany, Malaysia and Russia