Gloria is one of Australia's most accomplished and sought after Aboriginal artists. While she is most recognised for her Leaves depictions, it all started for her with Awelye - her ceremonial body paint designs.
Like her sisters and other women who gathered together for a tutorial in painting in the 1980's, Gloria instinctively knew what she was going to paint; body paint. "Nobody told me what to do, I been doing it myself." And she often tells how it is her treasured subject to paint.
Gloria doesn’t partake in ceremony much nowadays but remembers it being a happy, social time full of singing and teaching.
These two panels were commissioned in the grey on black for a 'bold-abstract meets quiet-sophistication' look.
Leaves Exhibition | Gloria Petyarre | 12 Feb - 5 April 2016 »
Gloria Tamerre Petyarre
Skin name: Petyarre (also spelled Pitjara)
Language group: Anmatyerre
Region: Utopia, Central Australia
In a career spanning almost three decades, Gloria Petyarre continues to be one of Australia’s most important and successful female artists.
An Anmatyerre woman from Atnangkere country in Utopia, Gloria Petyarre began her painting career when workshops were introduced to Aboriginal people of her community in the early 1990's. Although unsure of the medium at first, after having worked over a decade with silk batik, Gloria knew there was no looking back when she held her paint brush for the very first time. Painting brought her a sense of freedom of expression and, being experimental by nature, it allowed her artistic authority to develop.
Gloria first gained recognition in silk batik which began at Utopia in 1978 with exhibitions held nationally and internationally. In 1988 Gloria was part of the very first group to experiment with canvas, called the Summer Project, and Gloria has since continued to work in this medium.
By far the most well known and successful of Gloria’s works are her Leaves paintings. Five of her top ten artworks sold at auction have been Leaves.Originally they depicted everyday leaves scattered on the ground, but they often reflect leaves with medicinal qualities also which play a significant part in Gloria's ownership of Country.
Leaves was born one day in April 1994 at Mosquito Bore when Leaves on the Groundwas painted, now housed in the prestigious Mbantua Collection, measuring approximately 110cm x 90cm. Gloria had been painting a series of Awelye (Body Paint Design) paintings over the forgoing months, experimenting with bands of parallel lines and curvilinear patterns.
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