Jeannie lives on Boundary Bore Outstation in the Utopia region. She is sister to Greeny Purvis Petyarre, senior elder at this outstation and Gloria Petyarre, another very well known Utopian painter.
In 1988, Jeannie Petyarre was part of the group who produced Batik work using desert design on silk and cotton. Jeannie was encouraged by her aunt, the famous Emily Kngwarreye to continue to paint her family's Yam Dreaming.
The subject of Jeannie's painting tends to revolve around representations of leaves collected around her country and used for a variety of medicinal purposes. In particular, she returns again and again to "Bush Yam Leaves" and Bush Medicine Leaves", both of which themes show flowing representations of the leaves. Typical of Utopian artists, Jeannie rejoices in the use of colour.Today, Jeannie Petyarre spends her time between her homeland at Utopia and in Alice Springs.
About the artwork
In this painting, Jeannie paints the Bush Medicine Leaf with precise, fine strokes. The Bush Medicine Plant is an Australian native that grows wild in Central Australia. Women go to different places around Utopia to collect leaves from these plants. Back at the camp the leaves are boiled to extract resin. Kangaroo fat is mixed into the resin, creating a paste that can be stored for a long time in bush conditions. This medicine is used to heal cuts, wounds, bites, rashes and also acts as an insect repellent. By painting "Bush Medicine", Jeannie is paying homage to the spirit of the medicine plant in the hope that it will regenerate, enabling the people to continue to benefit from its healing properties.