Delvine Petyarre is the younger sister of well-known Utopia artist Anna Petyarre. Delvine was born in 1982 and shares the same stories and Country as her sister Anna. Delvine Petyarre is connected to Country at Atneltyeye, or Boundary Bore, which is located on the Utopia Homelands in Central Australia.
Delvine, like her sister, learned her painting skills and stories from her family. Her mother was the late Gloria (Glory) Ngale who passed away in 2002. Encouraged by her older sisters Anna and Joy Petyarre, both well-known artists, Delvine is now producing excellent and consistent works. Her mother Glory was a prominent Utopian artist and related by marriage to Emily Kame Kngwarreye (Glory’s husband was Michael Kngwarreye). Glory was known for her eye for color, a legacy of her Batik work, which she has passed down to Delvine and her sisters. Glory also favored the intricate dot-work style that Anna and Delvine have embraced.
Delvine Petyarre continues the tradition of using fine dot work to represent Country at Utopia, showing the undulating sandhills and formations of dry riverbeds that mark this landscape. The paintings are graphic representations, mostly rendered in black and white, that reveal the important sites and locations scattered across the landscape. Her distinctive style of intricate dot work and her overlaid painting technique, combined with a flair for color and attention to detail, is sure to take this artist to the top of her profession.
About the artwork
Delvine’s artwork depicts from a topographical view in fine detail. Her works have multi-layered elements associated with her family homelands of Atneltyeye, Utopia in Central Australia. The illustration is important visually and spiritually of the country – sand hills, riverbeds, and significant landmarks for ceremonies.
Delvine’s work promotes themes such as – balance, equilibrium, flux, negotiation, respect, and reciprocity.
The leaves, flowers, bark, or seeds of certain plants are harvested in season or as needed. This is often done in groups so that knowledge is passed down from older to younger women. Ceremonial sites are where the women gather for girls’ initiation and other cultural Law matters. The sustainability of these sacred sites is dependent on the water (blue lines).
“Without water, the whole country will dry up and die” Delvine Petyarre 2021
The women sit around the waterholes, often depicted in the artwork, with the waterholes being full in the dry desert land. Due to this, there was plenty of bush tucker around for the women to eat during the (sometimes exceptionally long) period they camped out for Women’s Business.