Gloria Petyarre Paintings
One of Australia's most famous Aboriginal artists, Gloria Petyarre's more recent paintings depict Bush Medicine Dreaming. View her artworks available for sale below (by enquiry), or click the Read More link for a detailed profile.
Gloria Petyarre | Bush Medicine Leaves
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Gloria Petyarre | Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming
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About Gloria Petyarre
Date of Birth
c.1942 – 2021
Place of Birth
Mosquito Bore, Utopia, Northern Territory
Who is Gloria Petyarre?
Gloria Petyarre was born in Utopia around 1945, and passed away in June 2021. Her Aboriginal language is Anmatyerre, and she was born on Atnangkere country at Utopia in Central Australia. Her language was Anmatyerre and she predominantly lived at Mulga Bore (Akaye Soakage).
Lived: c.1942 – 2021, Mosquito Bore, Utopia, Northern Territory
Community: Utopia, NT
What is Gloria Petyarre’s family connection to other Artists of Utopia?
Gloria Petyarre is one of the most famous artists from the Utopia region, north-east of Alice Springs. She was one of seven sisters who are all artists, including the well-known Kathleen Petyarre, Nancy Petyarre, Violet Petyarre and Ada Bird. Gloria’s husband, Ronnie Price Mpetyane, started painting in 1989 and does strong men’s paintings in the dot style, as well as neo-western landscapes in vivid colours. They lived at Mulga Bore (Akaye Soakage).
What is Gloria Petyarre’s connection to batik?
Gloria, like many of the Aboriginal women artists in Utopia, first gained recognition as an artist working with batik. In 1988, Gloria began painting and her first work was shown in the exhibition “Utopia Women’s Painting; The First Works of Canvas; a Summer Project 1988 to 1989.”
Gloria exhibited her batik work in group exhibitions in Australia and overseas from 1977 to 1987. In 1988, Gloria began painting in acrylic, painting her first work for the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA). This painting was shown in the exhibition “Utopia Women’s Painting; The First Works of Canvas; a Summer Project 1988 to 1989.” In 1990 and 1991, Gloria travelled to Ireland, London and India as a representative of the Utopia women accompanying the group exhibition “Utopia – A Picture Story”. The exhibition also travelled to Adelaide and Melbourne.
What are the Dreaming stories told in the art of the Petyarre sisters?
The artwork of the Petyarre sisters share the same Dreamings, including Arnkerrth, the Mountain or Thorny Devil Lizard, Awelye, the women’s body design and stories related to a variety of bush foods. Their paintings are able to depict a wide range of designs under these Dreaming stories, with Gloria Petyarre being the most productive of the group.
When did Gloria Petyarre’s solo career as an artist take off?
Gloria’s first solo exhibition was in 1991 at Australian Galleries in New York. This exhibition was also shown at Utopia Art in Sydney. From 1993 to 1995, Gloria had more solo exhibitions at Utopia Gallery, Sydney. Other exhibitions featuring Gloria’s paintings include the Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Flash Painting at the National Gallery of Australia, and The Body Paint Collection, which toured the USA. Besides painting, Gloria is also represented in tapestry, and in 1993 she was commissioned to make a tapestry for the Victorian (now Australian) Tapestry Workshop. In 1994, she received another commission for a tapestry to be made for the Law Courts in Brisbane.
What is Gloria Petyarre’s style of art?
Gloria’s work is based on the body paint designs for her Dreamings, which include Mountain Devil, Bush Medicine, Aknangkere Growth, and Awelye Dreaming. Earlier works showed clearly the designs painted across the women’s breasts and shoulders in the ceremony. More recently, she has developed her painting to higher levels of abstraction, continually experimenting with line and colour. Several of the works began to feature no dots at all, but bands of brilliant colour whose optical effects have evoked comparisons with the British artist Bridget Riley.
Her more recent paintings have focused on Bush Medicine Dreaming, which depicts the leaves of a particular type of shrub with powerful medicinal qualities. Gloria Petyarre uses a range of different brush strokes in her artworks to represent the growth of the leaves at certain times of the year.
Bush Medicine Leaves
The theme of Bush Medicine Leaves was developed in paintings by Gloria Petyarre (born 1945) and became a powerful part of her painting imagery during the last 20 years of her career. The Bush Medicine Story is an important one for Anmatyerre and Alyawarr people of Utopia homelands in Central Australia. In the process of making their paintings the artists are paying homage to the spirit of the medicinal plant and encouraging its regeneration for its healing powers.
Mountain Devil Dreaming
In Mountain Devil Dreaming Gloria uses a bold linear design accompanied by a small amount of dotwork to depict this small lizard-like creature. Alternatively, Gloria may cover the entire canvas using small intricate dotwork in various colours creating an almost three-dimensional effect. Bush Medicine Dreaming depicts the leaves of the Kurrajong shrub that has medicinal qualities, and Gloria used a range of different brush strokes to represent the growth of the leaves at certain times of the year.
In the latter stage of her career, Gloria developed a series of works that are even more contemporary in style and are known as Aknangkere Growth – her country – using lines of colour that run onto the canvas and are intermingled with a variety of dotwork.
Due to her artistic talent becoming well-recognised, in 1995, Gloria received a Full Fellowship Grant from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board of the Australia Council. In late 1999, Gloria won the coveted Wynne Landscape Prize which reaffirms her position as a significant contemporary Aboriginal artist. Gloria’s name is included in Australian Art Collector’s “50 Most Collectible Australian Artists”. Her work features in The Art of Utopia (Michael Boulter), Fire and Shadow by Anna Voight; New Visions. New Perspectives by Anna Voight and in Dreamings of the Desert published by The Art Gallery of South Australia.
Gloria’s work is in the collection of most major State Art Galleries and in the Holmes à Court collection. Her work is rich in texture and layering, revealing an extraordinary eye for colour and pattern, and assuring her place as one of Australia’s most collected Aboriginal artists.
Gloria Petyarre is profiled for collectors in Art Collector Magazine.
Aboriginal Art Status
Highly regarded artist.
Exhibitions at Japingka Gallery
2012 Recent Works
2010 Gloria Petyarre
2008 Utopia Collection
2007 Artists of Utopia
2006 Colours of Utopia
2003 Light over Utopia – New Paintings
2002 Generations – From Mother to Daughter: Utopia
1998 Utopia Now – Recent Work by Utopia Artists
1997 Mountain Devil Dreaming – Paintings and Batiks
1993 Tapestry for Victorian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne, Vic
1993 Mural for Kansas City Zoo, USA
1994 Tapestry Commission for the Law Courts, Brisbane, Qld
1999 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of NSW
Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Surfers Paradise QLD
Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin NT
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ACT
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne VIC
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane QLD
The Holmes à Court Collection, Perth WA
1991 Utopia Art, Sydney
1991 Australia Galleries, New York, USA.
1993 Awelye, Utopia Art Sydney
1994 Utopia Art, Sydney
1995 Gloria Petyarre: On the Line, Utopia Art, Sydney
1997 Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, Vic
1998 The Aknangkere Growth Paintings, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
1998 Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, Vic
1998 Gloria Petyarre, Campbelltown Bicentennial Art Gallery
1998 Wildflowers, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs
1999 Red Desert Gallery, Eumundi, Qld
2000 Leaves you thinking, Walkabout Gallery, Sydney
2003 Changes – Gloria Petyarre, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2009 New Works, Big Leaves, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2010 DACOU Gallery, Melbourne
2014 Gloria Petyarre: Leaves, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
Selected Group Exhibitions
1984 1st National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of NT, Darwin NT
1985 2nd National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of NT, Darwin NT
1988 Time Before Time, Austral Gallery, St. Loius, USA
1988 Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Utopia Art, Sydney.1989 Utopia Women, Coventry Gallery, Sydney NSW
1989 Art From Utopia, Austral Gallery, St Louis USA
1989 Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra ACT
1990 Utopia – A Picture Story, an exhibition of 88 works on silk from the Holmes à Court Collection
1990 Tagari Lia:My Family, Contemporary Aboriginal Art 1990-from Australia, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow UK
1991 8th National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin
1991 Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney NSW
1992/3 New Tracks Old Land: Contemporary Prints from Aboriginal Australia, touring USA and Australia
1993 Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery QLD
1994 Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria VIC
1995 Dacou Gallery, Adelaide SA
1996 Framed Gallery, Darwin NT
1996 Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane QLD
1997 Mountain Devil Dreaming, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
1998 Women Painters of the Desert, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane QLD
1998 ARTEXPO New York USA
1998 Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne VIC
1998 Utopia Dreamings, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
1999 Bush Garden, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
1999 Utopia – Recent Works, Desert Designs on King, Perth WA
1999 Utopia: Ancient Cultures/New Forms, Gloria Petyarre, Art Gallery of WA
2000 Australian National University, Canberra ACT
2001 Selected Works, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2001 Manawatu Gallery, New Zealand
2001 Kunst der Gegenwart, Vienna, Austria
2001 Icons of Australian Aboriginal Art, Singapore
2002 The Art and Soul Gallery, Nashvillle Tennessee USA
2002 Art from the Dreamtime’, Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon USA
2002 Generations, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2002 Singapore Art Museum; 2002 Light Square Gallery, Adelaide SA
2002/2003 National Gallery of Victoria at Federation Square, Melbourne VIC
2003 New City Merchants, Knoxville, Tennessee USA
2003 Art from the Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon USA
2005 Utopia Revealed, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2006 Colour of Utopia, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2006 Towards Black and White, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2006 Luminaries of the Desert, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2008 Utopia Collection 2, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, WA
2010 Bush Medicine – Gloria Petyarre, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2011 In Black and White, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2012 Little Gems, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2012 Desert Gold, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2017 Yam Dreaming, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2018 Blue, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2019 Landscape Colours, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2019 Summer Show & Art Parade, Salt, Queenscliff, VIC
2019 Defining tradition | black + white, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 International Women’s Day, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2019 Defining tradition | the colurists, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2020 Colours of Spring, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2020 Pointillism Perfection, Art Mob, Hobart
2020 Still in the Desert, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane
2020 Director’s Choice 2020, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2020 Spring, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane
2020 Top Ten – Our Most Popular Artists 2019, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2021 Private Collection | Private View: One Collector’s Passion & Soul, Cooee Art, Redfern
2021 Abstraction, Utopia Art, Sydney
2021 Country in Mind, University of the Sunshine Coast, QLD
2021 Voyage across Aboriginal Australia – Founders’ Favourites, Fondation Burkhardt-Felder Arts et Culture, Moitiers, Switzerland
2021 Top Ten Artists 2020, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney
2021 Big Names Little Paintings, Cooee Art Gallery, Sydney
2022 Happy New Year, Yaama Ganu Gallery, Moree
Awards and Recognition
2021 Gloria’s portrait by R. Ian Lloyd features in daily tours during Reconciliation Week, which highlights some remarkable, resilient and inspirational Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the collection, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
2020-2021 A portrait of Gloria Petyarre by R. Ian Lloyd features in the exhibition ‘Before hand: The private life of a portrait’ at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
National Portrait Gallery
2009 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney – Finalist
2009 Kings School Art Prize, Sydney – Winner
2008 25th NATSIAA, Darwin – Finalist
2007 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney – Finalist
2006 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney – Finalist
2005 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney – Finalist
2004 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney – Finalist & Highly Commended
2004 Fremantle Print Award 2004, Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle – Finalist
2003 20th NATSIAA, Darwin – Finalist
2002 Redlands Westpac Art Prize, Mosman Art Gallery, Sydney – Finalist
2000 5th National Indigenous Heritage Art Award 2000, (Reconciliation Prize), Old Parliament House, Canberra – Finalist
2000 Top 50 Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector Magazine
1999 Top 50 Collectable Artists, Australian Art Collector Magazine
1999 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney – Winner
1996 The Third National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Art Award, Old Parliament House, Canberra – Finalist
1996 Full Fellowship Grant, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board, the Australia Council
1994 Tapestry Commission for the Law Courts, Brisbane
1993 Design for tapestry for Victorian Tapestry Workshop
1993 Mural for Kansas City Zoo
Brody, A., 1990, Utopia: a Picture Story, 88 Silk Batiks from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Heytesbury
Holdings Ltd, Perth. (C)Caruana, W., 1987, Australian Aboriginal Art, a Souvenir Book of Aboriginal Art in the Australian National
Gallery, Australian National Gallery, Parkes, Australian Capital Territory. (C)
McCulloch, A., & McCulloch, S.,1994, The Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, NSW