Gloria Petyarre Paintings & Artist Profile


Gloria Petyarre is noted as one of the most famous of Aboriginal artists from the Utopia Homelands. Gloria was born around 1945 on Atnangkere country at Utopia in Central Australia. Her language is Anmatyerre and she predominantly lives at Mulga Bore (Akaye Soakage). Gloria Petyarre is one of seven sisters all of whom are well known Aboriginal artists, including Kathleen Petyarre, Nancy Petyarre, Violet Petyarre and Ada Bird.

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.

Gloria Petyarre, like many of the Aboriginal artists in Utopia, first gained recognition with the women artists 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 Petyarre’s earlier paintings show the Awelye designs painted across the women’s breasts and shoulders.

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.

Gloria Petyarre profile for art collectors: Art Collector Magazine: Gloria Petyarre

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
2005   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

Solo exhibitions

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

Selected Group exhibitions

1984  1st National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of NT, Darwin.
1985  2nd National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of NT, Darwin.
1988  Time Before Time, Austral Gallery, St. Loius, USA.
1988  Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Utopia Art, Sydney.
1989  Utopia Women, Coventry Gallery, Sydney.
1989  Art From Utopia, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA.
1989  Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
1990  Utopia – A Picture Story, an exhibition of 88 works on silk from the Holmes à Court Collection by Utopia artists which  toured Eire and Scotland.
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.
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.


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