Shopping Cart

Jeannie Petyarre

"Bush Medicine Leaves" by Jeannie Petyarre (Pitjara)


Enquire Now

  • 95cm by 70cm
  • Acrylic paint on canvas 

About Jeannie

Jeannie Petyarre (Pitjara) was born in c.1956 on the Boundary Bore Outstation of Utopia in Central Australia. An established artist in Utopia, Jeannie is the niece of the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye. In the early 1980s, when Jeannie was living at Boundary Bore Outstation with her family, husband Henry Long Kemarre, and their six children, Jeannie was introduced to the art of Batik. Jeannie was encouraged by her aunt, Emily Kngwarreye to continue to paint her family's Yam Dreaming. In 1990, her work was chosen to be part of the Robert Holmes à Court Collection, which toured extensively and was featured in their book "Utopia - A Picture Story". All of Jeannie's Dreamtime stories come from the Alhalkere Country and are passed down to her from her father's side.

Jeannie paints the Yam Seed, Yam Leaf, Yam Flower Dreamings, body paint, Mountain Devil Lizard, and My Country Dreamings. Jeannie's tribal name is "Angiltha" which means little lizard.

About the artwork

In this painting, Jeannie paints bush medicine leaves 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 the 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 Leaves", 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.


Jeannie has participated in various group exhibitions around Australia and several exhibitions toured the USA, United Arab Emirates, France, Italy, Turkey, and China. Some of her paintings are held in well-known and highly regarded collections such as the Holmes à Court Collection and the National Gallery of Australia. 


  • Holmes à Court Collection, Perth
  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2021 Top 20 2021, Art Mob, Hobart
  • 2020 Central Focus, Art Mob, Hobart
  • 2020 Top 20 Exhibition, Art Mob, Hobart
  • 2019 Summer Show & Art Parade, Salt, Queenscliff, VIC
  • 2019 defining tradition | black + white, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
  • 2019 International Women's Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
  • 2011 Thinking outside the square, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
  • 2009 Jeannie Petyarre: Medicine Leaves, Aboriginal Dreaming Fine Art Gallery, Los Angeles
  • 2008 Three Petyarres", Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
  • 2006 Cicada Trading, Paris
  • 2006 Cicada Trading, Bahrain Art Society, The Kingdom of Bahrain
  • 2006 Cicada Trading, Annual Clear Lake Exhibition of Aboriginal Paintings, Houston
  • 2006 Cicada Trading, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • 2006 Cicada Trading, Dubai
  • 2005 Cicada Trading, Milan
  • 2005 Cicada Trading, Illayda, Istanbul
  • 1993 Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs
  • 1990 A Picture Story Exhibition of 88 works on silk from the Holmes a Court Collection by Utopian artists which toured Eire and Scotland
  • 1989 Utopia Women's Paintings the first works on canvas