Rosemary Petyarre was born in 1945 at Utopia, 350km east of Alice Springs in Central Australia. Rosemary comes from a strong artist family background, her Brother is famous aboriginal artist Grenny Purvis Petyarre (passed away 2010). Other famous Petyarre artists include well-known Gloria Petyarre, Jeannie Petyarre, Petyarre, Ada Bird Petyarre, Violet Petyarre, Myrtle Petyarre and Nancy Petyarre.
Rosemary was involved in the making of batik and in 1994 she and several other women from Utopia travelled to Indonesia to learn different techniques for producing batik. Like most other Utopian artists, Rosemary began her formal artist career with the Summer Project, sponsored by CAAMA in 1988-89, which led to painting with acrylic on canvas.