Born: c. 1938
Language Group: Anmatyerre
Country: Atnangkere, Utopia Region, North East of Alice Springs
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas and Linen, Batik on Silk
Subjects: Arnkerrthe (Mountain Devil Lizard), Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs)
Violet Petyarre is sister to artists Kathleen, Gloria, Ada Bird, Nancy, Myrtle and Jean Petyarre. Like the majority of her sisters, she was involved in the batik movement that established the women artists of Utopia. Her work is represented in the Holmes á Court collection. Violet usually paints the Mountain Devil Lizard (from her father's country), using strong linear patterns and colours.
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
The Holmes á Court Collection, Perth
Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs
The Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica USA
|2003||'Violet', Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs|
|1988||The Fifth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the N.T., Darwin|
|1989||Utopia Women's Paintings, the First Works On Canvas, A Summer Project, 1988-89, S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney|
|1990||Utopia A Picture Story, an exhibition of 88 works on silk from the Holmes á Court Collection by Utopia artists which toured Eire and Scotland|
|1991||Aboriginal Women's Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney|
|1992||Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs|
|1996||Gallerie Australis, Adelaide, South Australia|
|1996||Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide|
|1997||Songlines Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands|
|2001||Mountain Devil Lizard Arnkerrthe, Myrtle Petyarre, Nancy Petyarre and Violet Petyarre, July Exhibition: Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs|
|2001||Seven Sisters Petyarre: Brisbane City Gallery, Brisbane|
|2002||Mbantua Gallery USA Exhibitions: Art and Soul Gallery,Nashville, Tennessee; 'The Cove Gallery'Portland, Oregon; Urban Wine Works, Portland, Oregon; Mary's Woods, Portland, Oregon (Benefit OHSU Heart Research Centre)|
|2003||Mbantua Gallery USA Exhibitions: New City Merchants, Knoxville, Tennessee; Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee; 'The Cove Gallery' Portland, Oregon; Contemporary Aboriginal Art Event, Umpqua Bank, Portland, Oregon; Mary's Woods, Portland Oregon; Art From The Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, Portland Oregon (Benefit - OHSU Heart Research Centre)|
|2004||Mbantua Gallery USA exhibitions: Portland, Nashville, Knoxville, Hartford and Greenwich|
|2004||Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs|
|2005||'Small Wonders' (A collection of 1'x1' and 1'x1½' paintings), Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, N.T|
|2005||Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs|
|2006||Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs|
|Desart, the Aboriginal Art Centers of Central Australia|
|Putting in the Colour Contemporary Aboriginal Textiles, Jukurrpa Books (IAD Press) ©2000|
The curvilinear pattern throughout Violet's painting represents the skin on the back of Arnkerrthe, the Mountain Devil Lizard, and also Awelye (Women's Ceremony and Body Paint Designs) for the Arnkerrthe Dreamtime story. This story belongs to the people from Atnangkere and Alhalkere country in the Utopia region, northeast of Alice Springs.
The women smear their bodies with animal fat then trace these patterns onto their breasts, arms and thighs; singing as each woman takes her turn to be 'painted-up'. Their songs relate to the ancestral travels of the Mountain Devil Lizard as it makes the long journey north to Waramugu country, carrying the ochre for body paint in the small sac on the back of its neck.
The Mountain Devil Lizard has the ability to camouflage itself by changing colours. This is represented in this painting by the various colours Violet uses. The traditional colours used for ceremony are ochre red, yellow and white.