Gloria Petyarre was born in approximately 1945 in the region of Utopia, located 270kms northeast from Alice Springs. Her language is Anmatyerre and her country is Aknangkere. Gloria is one of seven sisters who are also artists, such as the well-known Kathleen Petyarre, Nancy Petyarre, Violet Petyarre and Ada Bird.
Gloria first gained recognition as an artist working in the medium of Batik, exhibiting with other Utopia women in shows around Australia and abroad from 1977 to 1987. In 1988 Gloria took up the medium of canvas and painted her first work for CAAMA (The Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association) in the exhibition titled – “Utopia Women’s Painting; The First Works of Canvas; a Summer Project 1988 – 1989.” In 1990 –1991, Gloria traveled to Ireland, London and India as a representative of the Utopia women accompanying the exhibition “Utopia – A Picture Story”. The exhibition was mounted in Dublin at the Royal Hibernian Academy; Tandanya, Adelaide; and The Meat Market Gallery, Melbourne.
In 1991, Gloria had her first solo exhibition at Australian Galleries in New York and at Utopia Art, Sydney, where she had other solo shows from 1993 to 1995. Gloria’s work has been included in major survey exhibitions including: – 1991 Art Gallery of New South Wales touring Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition 1992 “Flash Painting” – National Gallery of Australia. 1992 “The Body Paint Collection” at Bishop Museum, Hawaii, which also toured the United States. In 1993 Gloria received a Tapestry Commission for the Victorian Tapestry Workshop and in 1994 for the Law Court in Brisbane. In 1995/96 Gloria received a Full Fellowship grant from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board of the Australia Council, and in March 1999 was awarded the coveted Wynne prize. Gloria was the first Aboriginal artist to receive this prestigious award for landscape painting.
Gloria’s work features in the collection of almost every major Art Gallery in each Australian capital city and also in the Holmes a Court collection. In 1998, a work on paper was acquired by the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery; a major canvas by the “Levi Collection” in Seattle, USA, and a Kansas City institution requested Gloria in conjunction with her husband, Ronnie Price, to design a mural which is now a highlighted main attraction. She is featured on the cover of Michael Bolton’s “The Art of Utopia” and more recently in “Fire and Shadow” by Anna Voight and Nevill Drury and in “New Visions. New Perspectives” by Anna Voight. Gloria is also featured in the book “Dreamings of The Desert” published recently by The Art Gallery of South Australia.
Gloria’s main Dreamings are “Mountain Devil”, “Bush Medicine” and “Aknangkere Growth”’. 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 dots in various colours creating an almost three-dimensional effect. Both styles are indicative of Gloria’s extraordinary talent for colour and pattern.
Gloria also developed a series of works, even more contemporary in style, known as “Atnangkere Growth”. In these paintings Gloria depicts her country using lines & swirls of colour that run onto the canvas and are intermingled with a variety of dot work. These paintings are rich in texture and are testament to Gloria’s artistic creativity. By far her most popular style has been “Bush Medicine Dreaming”. In these works, Gloria depicts the leaves of a particular type of shrub that has medicinal qualities and which Gloria, as a healer, is well practiced in.
Gloria uses a range of different brush strokes ranging from the large to the very fine using colours which represent the growth of the leaves at certain times of the year. The expert use of colour and movement displayed in these pieces confirm Gloria’s status as a sophisticated contemporary artist.
1988 Group exhibition, “Time Before
Time”, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA.
1990 Travelling group batik exhibition,
“Utopia – A Picture Story”, the Holmes a Court Collection, Ireland, England, France, Thailand & India.
1990 Group Exhibition, “Tagari Lia: My
Family”, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, Ireland.
1992 Group exhibition, “New Tracks
Old Lands”, Boston and touring US.
1992 Group exhibition, “Aboriginal
Art: Utopia in the Desert”, Nogizaki Arthall , Tokyo, Japan.
1993 Solo exhibition, “Awelye”,
Utopia Art Sydney, NSW.
1994 Solo exhibition, Utopia Art
1995 Solo exhibition, “Gloria Petyarre:
On the Line”, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW.
1998 Solo exhibition, Utopia Art,
1998 Solo exhibition “The Aknangkere
Growth Paintings”-First Release –
Chapman Gallery- Canberra, ACT.
1999 Self titled solo exhibition- Flinders
Lane Gallery- Melbourne, VIC.
1999 Solo Exhibition, Red Desert
Gallery, Eumundi, Queensland.
1999 Solo exhibition, “Gloria Petyarre:
A Survey”, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, NSW.
1999 Solo exhibition, “Wildflowers”,
Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, NT.
2000 DACOU in association with
AMP- an official sponsor of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, held a mixed Utopia art exhibition in the AMP building, Sydney.
2001 “Two Women- Dreamings”-
exhibited with Barbara Weir at Dreamtime Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
2002 Mixed Utopia exhibition at Knut
Grothe Galeri in Charlottlenlund Copenhagen, Denmark.
2002 Mixed Utopia exhibition at
Galerie a Le Temps Du Reve, France.
2002 Solo exhibition, “Leaves You
Thinking”, World Vision of Australia, Walkabout Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
2002 Solo exhibition of Aknangkere
Growth paintings at Gallery Savah, Sydney, NSW.
2003 ‘The Other Side of the Land, Art
from Central Australia’,Group Exhibition, Berlin, Germany ( in cooperation with the Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer).
2004 Group Exhibition, ‘Sanjski cas.
Dreamtime’, Cankarjevdom, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
05-06 With Ada Petyarre, “Black
Abstract”, Woolloongabba Art Gallery and touring, Brisbane, QLD.
2007 Group exhibition, ‘Utopia in
New York’. Robert Steele Gallery, New York, USA.
2007 Group exhibition, “New Works
from Utopia”, Space Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
2009 Wynne Landscape Prize, Gallery
of NSW, Sydney, NSW
2009 “Utopia, Color’s of the Desert”,
Gongpyeong Art Space in conjunction with DACOU, Australian Embassy in Korea & Crossbay Gallery, Seoul, Korea.
2009 Solo Exhibition, “Gloria Petyarre,
A Summer Collection”, DACOU Gallery Melbourne, Middle Park, VIC.
2010 Susan McCulloch’s “The
Summer Show”, Group Exhibition, Salt Contemporary Art, Queenscliff, VIC.
2010 “Desert Rhythms”, group
exhibition, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, VIC.
2010 “Utopia”, Group exhibition,
DACOU Melbourne, Middle Park, VIC.
2010 “A Summer Exhibition from The
Lands”, group exhibition, McCulloch’s Aboriginal Art and Flinders Village Café, Flinders, VIC.
2010 “Recent Works”, DACOU
Melbourne, Middle Park, VIC.
Allen, Allen & Hemsley;
Art Bank Sydney;
Art Gallery of New South Wales;
Art Gallery of Western Australia;
Australian National Gallery;
Campbelltown City Art Gallery;
Flinders University, South Australia;
Gold Coast City Art Gallery;
Griffith University Collection;
Holmes a Court Collection;
Kerry Stokes Collection;
Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery;
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne;
National Gallery of Victoria;
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney;
Queensland Art Gallery;
Queensland University of Technology;
Riddoch Art Gallery, S.A.;
Supreme Court, Brisbane;
The Robert Holmes a Court Collection;
University of New South Wales;
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, U.S.A.;
Westpac, New York;
James D. Wolfensohn Collection;
Woollongong City Art Gallery;
Woollongong University Collection;
University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland;
Singapore Art Museum;
Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory;
1993 Design for tapestry for Victorian Tapestry Workshop
1993 Mural for Kansas City Zoo
1998 National Works on Paper Award, MPRG
1999 Fellowship, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board,
1999 Wynne Landscape Prize, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney
See below some of her beautiful pieces for sale: