Jeannie Pitjara Indigenous Australian, b. 1951-


Jeannie Pitjara was born in approximately 1951 in the Utopia region of Central Australia. She comes from a very artistic family, as she is the niece of the late great Emily Kame Kngwarreye and her sister is Rosemary Petyarre.


Jeannie was introduced to art by becoming involved in community projects that became popular during the seventies and eighties in Utopia. These projects include her exposure to making silk batiks. The creation of the silk batiks became so successful that she began exhibiting her work locally and internationally. Jeannie’s batiks depicted where she grew up, with the inclusion of the tracks wild animals make among the flora and fauna of her homeland.


In 1989, she participated in another community project which introduced her to canvas and acrylic paints. This project became wildly successful and the women of Utopia blossomed from the usage of these new supplies. Because of the immense encouragement from her aunt, Emily Kngwarreye, she began to continue family tradition by painting her family’s ‘Yam Dreaming’. In her work, Jeannie portrays the different stages of the plant’s growth including the seed, leaf and flower. The use of the yam plant is a significant one, as it is traditionally used for medicinal purposes for ailments such as sores and bites.


She also portrays Awelye ceremonies in her work, where the women pay homage to their ancestors.



2010, “Tradition to Modernity”, Central Art, Alice Springs (touring Tasmania).

2008, “A Women’s Exhibition”, Redrock Gallery, Beijing, China.

2008, “2nd Grand Opoening”, Redrock Gallery, Beijing, China.

2007, “Group Exhibition”, Redrock Gallery, International Art Expo, Beijing, China.

2007, “Group Exhibition”, Redrock Gallery, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Beijing, China.

2007, “Group Exhibition”, Redrock Gallery, China World Exhibition Centre, Beijing, China.

2007, “Gallery Grand Opening Beijing”, Redrock Gallery, Beijing, China.

2006, “Relocation Exhibition”, Redrock Gallery, South Yarra.

2006, “Cicada Trading”, Adu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

2006, “Cicada Trading”, Bahrain Art Society, The Kingdom of Bahrain.

2006, “Cicada Trading”, Paris, France. 

2006, “Cicada Trading – The Annual Clear Lake Exhibition of Aboriginal Paintings”, Houston, USA.

2005, “Cicada Trading”, Milan, Italy.

2005, “Cicada Trading”, Illayda, Istanbul, Turkey.

1993, “Central Australian Aboriginal Art and Craft Exhibition”, Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs.

1990, “A Picture Story Exhibition of 88 works on Silk from the Holmes a Court Collection”, (touring Eire & Scotland).

1990, “Utopia Women’s Paintings: First Works on Canvas”


National Gallery of Australia.

The Holmes a Court Collection.



Brody, A. & Gooch, R. & Robert Holmes à Court Collection & CAAMA Shop (1990) ‘Utopia: a picture story : 88 silk batiks from the Robert Holmes à Court Collection’, Heytesbury Holdings Ltd. for the Robert Holmes à Court Collection, Perth, Western Australia.