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Gloria Petyarre

Gloria Petyarre Born: c1938, Mosquito Bore, Utopia, Northern Territory
Other names: Gloria Tamerre Petyarre, Pitjara
Language Group: AnmatyerreGloria Petyarre is, one of the most significant, famous, and internationally acclaimed, contemporary Australian female Aboriginal artists.Gloria is married to Ronnie Price and has four sisters, Ada Bird Peyarre, Violet Petyarre, Myrtle Petyarre, Nancy and Kathleen Petyarre- who are all renowned artists.She hails from the eastern desert community of Utopia, 230 kilometres nokrtheast of Alice Springs. The region’s art movement began in the late 1970’s when a batik fabric-making workshop was introduced to the community. Gloria joined the community and was on her way to becoming one of the most widely recognised indigenous artists.Gloria first became known as an artist for her contributions to Utopia Batik Exhibition which toured Australia and overseas from 1977 to 1987. She began using acrylic paint on canvas in 1988, because it gave her greater freedom of expression and better control over the results.Along with Emily Kame Kngwarreye, Gloria is known as one of the most stylistically adventurous painters. While she contains her subject matter within the bounds of the traditional, her expression is free and vivid. While Gloria’s palette is often ochre based, her works are noted for their fluidity and movement. In this painting, “Medicine Leaves”, for example, Gloria manages to capture the essence of subject in both an artistic and spiritual sense.Gloria spends days in contemplative peace while painting, reflecting on her country and the stillness. “You look … see / in my mind … quiet place my country. This on leaf … plenty wind coming.”
It is in this manner that Gloria has captured the imagination of both modernists and traditionalists. The range of brush strokes and colours represent the leaves beneath mulga trees at different times of the year, lifted and swirled up by the wind. Throughout the life of this particular native shrub, the leaves change colour and changes its medicinal properties accordingly. In 1990 she traveled with the exhibition “Utopia: a Picture Story” to Dublin, London, Thailand and India. In 1999 she won’t the Wynne Prize for landscapes of the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Her first solo show was in 1991 and since then has had many exhibitions including New York and London.

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