Creative Women with Tess McCabe – The Utopia Women

by Jenny Butler
Wednesday 8th June 2011

Today Tess McCabe features some creative women closer to home – The Utopia Women of Alice Springs. Don’t forgot, today is your final chance to enter into the draw to win a double pass to see Beci Orpin at this Saturday’s Creative Women’s Circle – leave a comment by 10pm to be in the draw! – Jenny x

Bush Medicine by Gloria Petyarre (available to purchase at Flinders Lane Gallery)

The Utopia Women are regarded as some of the most important Australian Contemporary artists.

Utopia is the traditional name for a region north east of Alice Springs. The Utopia Women’s Batik Group formed there in the 1970s, but steadily many of the women moved to working on canvas, and so a contemporary painting movement began. Gloria Petyarre, Minnie Pwerle and Emily Kame Kngwarreye were among the movement’s most popular artists whose work is in a large way responsible for making Australian Aboriginal art commercially popular.

Body Paint by Emily Kame Kngwarreye

Awelye & Bush Melon by Minnie Pwerle

The work of the Utopia Women conveys stories from the Dreaming as well as an individual connections to their land and the dry and arid but occasionally lush central Australian landscape.

Gloria Petyarre is regarded as one of Utopia’s most significant artists and her work is extremely popular at home and internationally in gallery and private collections – you’ve probably seen it adorn the walls of many a home in chic shelter mags. Sometimes monochromatic and sometimes multicoloured, her paintings are distinguished by flowing rhythmic strokes that represented leaves, grasses and bodypaint.

More paintings from the Bush Medicine series by Gloria Petyarre (available to purchase at Flinders Lane Gallery)

Over the last few decades, female aboriginal artists and many of those from the Utopia region have become leaders in the international contemporary art sector; providing for their families and communities financially and bringing the stories and history of the Aboriginal people to the world.

Tess x

by Jenny Butler
Wednesday 8th June 2011


  • Ooh, these are beautiful! (And I love visiting the Flinders Lane Gallery, so nice!)

  • tali 5 years ago

    ooh ooh, please enter me, I’d love a ticket! : )

  • Meaghan 5 years ago


  • Susie 5 years ago

    I love these – didn’t realise they were at Flinders Lane Gallery so a lunchtime visit is in order!

  • Agnes 5 years ago

    what beautiful patterns – thanks for posting! :)

  • Phoebe 5 years ago

    Another great post topic selection Tess!

    I love Minnie Pwerle’s work. Circles, bold pattern and colour, all my favourite elements! I have a small piece by her daughter, Betty Mbitjana bought from a gallery in NT a couple of year’s back.

  • tess 5 years ago

    Thanks for your comments ladies! Yes I saw some of Gloria’s work a couple of years ago and fell quickly in love…

  • laura 5 years ago

    these are stunning…….. gloria’s work has so much movement …. like a school of fish. beautiful

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