Margaret Scobie


(b. 1948, AUSTRALIA)


Born on the 1st of January 1948, in Woola Downs, East of Ti-Tree, Northern Territory and was schooled at Ross Park primary in Alice Springs, Australia. She speaks Anmatyerre of Adelaide Bore, Utopia Region. She is a self-taught artist and now lives in Alice Springs with her husband, Tommy Johnny and their three daughters and one son, along with three grandchildren.


There is a rick artistic tradition that runs in Margaret’s family and she is related to a string of well-respected artists. Her mother is siser to the father of Gloria Petyarre, a very well know artist, and to Ada Bird Petyarre. More notably, she is also sister to the later Emily Kngwarreye from Utopia who has achieved massive national and international renown. Margaret maintains a close relationship with her cousin Gloria Petyarre.


Her subject matters involve Spinifex, Honey Ant Dreaming, Mountain Devil Dreaming and body painting. This Spinifex painting depicts flowing spinifex grass as it is blown by the wind, and also represents the body painting which is used in important women’s ceremonies to represent spinifex.


As a tribal woman from Utopia, Margaret has been painting for most of her life on her body before ceremonies and on ceremonial objects. The body-paint designs are learnt whilst applying paint to the chest breasts and shoulders of women about to partake in ceremony. These images relate to her Awelye (Dreaming) and are significant to the ceremonies and rituals that are the basis of her culture. She often paints using an array of colours and her work is sought after for their great sense of movement, which she achieves.


Margaret, under instruction from Gloria Petyarre, has now included body paint designs into her paintings.



Self taught, but later under instruction from Gloria Petyarre.

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