Collection: 'Ambatye Urpetye' | Kathleen Petyarre, Margaret Loy Pula & Abie Loy Kemarre

This exhibition is an artistic homage to Aboriginal artist Kathleen Petyarre and the legacy that she has created via her only child and daughter, Margaret Loy Pula and her granddaughter, Abie Loy Kemarre, daughter of Margaret.

The name Petyarre represents one of the greatest family Aboriginal art dynasty’s that Australia has seen. The Petyarre sisters – Ada (dec), Violet, Myrtle (dec), Gloria, Nancy (dec) and Kathleen have won most of the highest artistic accolades available to them and their artworks collected into some of the greatest art collections.

The ongoing dynasty of one of these hierarchs is that of Kathleen Petyarre. Kathleen was born in the 1940’s at Utopia, an Indigenous community approx. 240 kilometres north east of Alice Springs in Central Australia. Kathleen Petyarre initially worked in batik and then took up painting on canvas in 1988.

In 2001 Kathleen won the prestigious 13th Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award in Darwin. 'Genius of Place' a book about her art, was published in 2001 in conjunction with a solo exhibition of her works at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

Margaret Loy Pula paints her culture and her father’s dreaming. Her main story is “Anatye” or Bush Potato dreaming which has been the recipient of numerous awards over the last 6 years.  

In 2012 Margaret was the first Indigenous artist to win the prestigious Waterhouse Natural History Art Prize in South Australia. In 2011 she was the first female artist to win the Sunshine Coast Art Prize and in the same year the first female artist to win the Paddington Art Prize (Sydney). 

Margaret has also won the Arthur Guy Memorial Prize (2017), Redland Art Prize (2014), the inaugural Grace Cossington Smith Art Prize (2014) and the Muswellbrook Art Prize (2013). She has been a finalist in the Wynne Prize (2012), Sulman Prize (2013), Blake Prize (2013), Gold Coast Art Prize (2011), Fleurieu Art Prize (2013), Calleen Art Prize (2015).

Abie Loy Kemarre is a highly accoladed artist and is regarded as one of the leading contemporary Indigenous artists in Australia, her paintings have evolved with the masterful use of colours and bold, abstract forms to represent her inherited Dreamings. Abie has been a finalist in the Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Awards in Darwin on several occasions and she has exhibited with Australian and overseas.

The works in this Aboriginal art exhibition show the artistic styles and generational stories that have been passed from grandmother to daughter to granddaughter.