Ada BIRD PETYARRE - Awelye Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming

Ada BIRD PETYARRE - Awelye Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming

1998, 60 x 45cm ADG:1778

ADG: 1778


Biography - Ada Bird Petyarre

Artist Ada Bird Petyarre
Date of Birth c.1930, Old Utopia Station, N.T.
Deceased 2009
Skin Name Petyarre (pronounced pi-jah-ra)
Language Group Anmayterre
Country Atnangkere
Area Mulga Bore Outstation, Utopia, Northern Territory
Stories Awelye (women's ceremonial body paint designs) for Arnkerrthe (Mountain Devil Lizard)
Angertla (Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming), Engcarma,(Bean), Unyara (Emu), Annlara (Pencil Yam), Kadjeta (Grass Seeds), Elaitchurunga (Small Brown Grass)

Ada Petyarre commenced silk batik in the 1980s and later painted on canvas with acrylic paints. Ada Petyarre was one of the seven well known artists - the 'Petyarre Sisters' from the Utopia region- (Myrtle, Gloria, Nancy, Kathleen, Violet and Jean Petyarre). Ada and her sisters all have the same father but four mothers. Ada lived at Mulga Bore in the Utopia region, 170 miles north east of Alice Springs, with her extended family of sons and daughters and their families. Ada was involved with the Utopia Women’s Batik group in the 1980s and is known for her bold linear patterns illustrating Awelye (women's ceremonial body paint designs) and her main Dreamtime story is Arnkerrthe (Mountain Devil Lizard).

Selected Collections
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
University of Queensland, Anthropology Museum, St Lucia, Brisbane
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne
Richard Kelton Foundation, Santa Monica, USA
Artbank, Sydney
Wim Wenders, Film maker

1997 Finalist - 14th NATSIAA Darwin  (now called the Telstra Awards)

Solo Exhibitions
1990 Utopia Art, Sydney
1999 Aboriginal Dreamings Gallery, Canberra  

Selected Exhibitions
1989 Aboriginal Art, The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
1989 Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
1989 Utopia Women’s Paintings, the First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project
1989 1996 Tandanya, Adelaide
1990 Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin, Ireland
1990 Utopia, An exhibition of 88 works on silk. Holmes a Court Collection                              
1994 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne       
1997 Exhibition of Silk Batiks, Paris                                                   
2001 Icons of Australian Aboriginal Art, Singapore   
2001 Petyarre Sisters

Awards, Prizes
1995/6 Full Fellowship Grant. Australia Council, Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Board

Most Important Aboriginal Artists  (Both living and deceased)  
2011 Ranked 110/200 - Ada Bird Petyarre

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