Language Group: Central Arrernte
Country: Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Wood
Subjects: Bush Foods, Women's Stories, Women's Ceremony
Margaret's main language is Central Arrernte but she also speaks Anmatyerre and English fluently. Margaret was born on the Todd River near what is now St Philips College. 'We call him the middle part of the Todd River', Margaret says. Her father belonged to Ilkawerne country in southern Utopia, the same as artist Lindsay Bird Mpetyane, and her mother belonged around Alice Springs. Her uncle on her mother's side was renowned aboriginal artist Wenton Rubuntja who passed away in 2005.
Margaret remembers long ago her grandmother and a cousin, who lived at Six Mile, would tell her stories in Anmatyerre. When Margaret was still a young girl, she was sent away from her family but says she is 'not worried about that'. She spent most of the time at Santa Teresa, south east of Alice Springs. She later taught herself to paint, and her paintings tell some of those stories she learnt as a girl; mostly of women and girls going off into the bush together to collect various bush foods. Margaret has been painting since the mid eighties and she taught her daughter, Annette Davis Petyarre, to paint as well. They both share a similar style, both creating extremely fine depictions of the bush foods and often use fine dot work in their art. The dot work is created using bamboo satay sticks.