Margaret Turner Petyarre
1945 (Lake Nash, Northern Territory)
Country: Lake Nash
Language group: Alyawarre
Margaret Turner Petyarre was born around 1945 at Lake Nash near the Queensland border. Margaret was a full blooded Aboriginal of the Alyawarre Tribe located in the Northern Territory of Australia. She was an important Eastern Arrente Elder, and a talented artist and educator. Margaret lived 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 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 paintings and her Dreamings of Bush Medicine, Bush Tucker and Bush Orange. Margaret started painting on canvas in the early 1990s and her work was shown in exhibitions at Sydney. In the year 2000 she visited Sydney to exhibit her work at a show that was well received. Sadly, Margaret Turner Petyarre passed away on the 28th July 2008.