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Creative Women with Tess McCabe - The Utopia Women

8th June, 2011
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

The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email