Esther Haywood Petyarre

DOB: 1982
BORN: Alice Springs, NT
LANGUAGE GROUP: Alyawarre
COMMUNITY: Utopia, NT

Esther Haywood Petyarre

Esther Haywood Petyarre

Esther was born in 1982. She belongs to the Anmatyerre language group and associates with her grandmother’s country, Atnangkere, in the Utopia region, approximately 230 km northeast of Alice Springs in Central Australia.

Growing up surrounded by well-established artists, Esther quickly developed her artistic talents.  She is the granddaughter of the well-known Australian artist Gloria Petyarre.  Esther’s life as a child and as a younger woman was spent sitting and learning from Gloria and her sisters (The Seven Petyarre Sisters of the Utopia region) while they put paint to canvas; her great aunt, the late great Emily Kngwarreye would also have been there along with many other artists from this region.  Esther would have learnt the songs, dance and body paint designs to all the stories that belong to Atnangkere country.

Esther now prefers to live in Alice Springs with her two children and looks after her grandmother, often assisting her with her paintings.  She has been permitted to paint her version of ‘Leaves on the Ground’ by Gloria Petyarre and carries on her grandmother’s bush medicine leaf style. Bush Medicine leaves are healing leaves of the Kurrajong tree used by women from the Utopia region in traditional bush medicines. Through painting, Esther pays homage to the spirit of the bush medicine leaves to ensure its regeneration so her people can continue to benefit from its medicinal powers. Her work is proving to be very popular and can be found in many interstate and overseas private collections.

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