Life : Born c. 1945 Mulga Bore, NT to June 2021.
Country: Atnangkere, NT.
Gloria Petyarre was born c. 1945 at Mulga Bore, Atnangkere in the region known today as Utopia located 270 km northeast of Alice Springs. Gloria is one of seven sisters who are also artists, including the well-known Kathleen Petyarre, Jeannie Petyarre, Nancy Petyarre, Violet Petyarre and Ada Bird (See About the Petyarre Sisters below). Gloria has been one of the most prolific exhibitors of all seven sisters and is therefore one of the most well-known, along with older sister Kathleen.
Gloria's 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 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 travelled to Ireland, London and India as a representative of the Utopia women accompanying the exhibition ‘Utopia – A Picture Story’, the Holmes a Court Collection. In 1991, Gloria had her first solo exhibition at Australian Galleries in New York and at Utopia Art, Sydney, where she also had other solo shows from 1993 to 1995. In 1995 she won the Wynne Prize for Landscape painting at the Art Gallery of New South Wales with a 10 panel work titled Leaves Blowing in the Wind.
Gloria’s work has been widely exhibited as befits her status as one of the leading Aboriginal women painters of all time and is particularly well known for her Bush Medicine (bush yam leaves) works, not only because of the fine brushwork and beauty of these works, but also based on her status as a healer. As her assurance as an artist has grown, so too have the brush strokes with which she depicts this dreaming.
1993 Gloria received a Tapestry Commission for the Victorian Tapestry Workshop and in 1994 for the Law Court in Brisbane, and in 1995/96 Gloria received a Full Fellowship grant from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board of the Australia Council.
Gloria’s work is in the collection of almost every major Art Gallery in each capital city and in the Holmes a Court collection. In 1998, a work on paper was acquired by the Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. 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 was also recently featured in the book ‘Dreamings of the Desert’ published by The Art Gallery of South Australia.
Gloria passed way peacefully at age 76 in June 2021. She will be remembered for her commitment to her family, her Country and to the global art world.
1993 Design for tapestry for Victorian Tapestry Workshop
1993 Mural for Kansas City Zoo
1998 National Works on Paper Award, MPRG
1999 Wynne Landscape Prize, Gallery of NSW, Sydney
1999 Fellowship, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board, Australia Council
1988 Group exhibition, ‘Time Before Time’, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA.
1989 Group Exhibition, ‘A Summer Project’, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1990 Travelling group batik exhibition, ‘Utopia – A Picture Story’,
the Holmes a Court Collection, Ireland, England, France, Thailand & India.
1990 Group Exhibition, ‘Togari Lia: My Family’, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, Ireland.
1990 Group exhibition, ‘Utopia Men and Dogs’, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA.
1991 Group Exhibition, Australian Galleries, New York, USA.
1991 Group Exhibition, ‘Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition’, Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney, NSW.
1991 Group exhibition, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW.
1992 Group travelling exhibition, ‘Nangara’, Aboriginal Gallery of Dreamings, Melbourne, Australia and internationally.
1992 Group exhibition, ‘New Tracks Old Lands’, Boston and touring US.
1992 Group exhibition, ‘Aboriginal Art: Utopia in the Desert’, Nogizaki Arthall, Tokyo,
1993 Solo exhibition, ‘Awelye’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW.
1994 Solo exhibition, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW.
1995 Combined exhibition, DACOU Gallery, Adelaide, SA.
1995 Solo exhibition, ‘Gloria Petyarre: On the Line’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW.
1996 Combined exhibition, Framed, Darwin, NT.
1996 Combined exhibition, Flinders Lane Gallery, Brisbane, QLD.
1996 Solo exhibition, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD.
1996 Combined exhibition, Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1997 Combined exhibition, DACOU Gallery, Adelaide, SA.
1997 Participated in the artist in residence program at the Art Gallery of South Australia in the exhibition ‘Dreamings of the Desert’, SA.
1997 Solo exhibition, ‘Instant Pictures’, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW.
1997 Combined exhibition ‘Ten Years On’, Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, VIC.
1997 Combined exhibition, Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1997 Selected entrant in the Telstra 14th National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award for
1997 Solo exhibition, Flinders Lane Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1997 Combined exhibition, FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD.
1998 Combined exhibition 'Women Painters of The Desert’ FireWorks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD.
1998 Solo exhibition at Robert Steele Gallery- Adelaide, SA.
1998 Combined exhibition ‘Utopia IV’ Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney, NSW.
1998 Combined exhibition ‘The Ladies of Utopia’, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT.
1998 Solo exhibition, Utopia Art, Sydney, NSW.
1998 Combined exhibition- Flinders Lane Gallery- Melbourne, VIC.
1998 Solo exhibition ‘The Atnangkere Growth Paintings’-First Release, Chapman Gallery, Canberra,
1998 Solo exhibition, Gloria Tamerre Petyarre, Campbelltown Bicentennial Art Gallery, Campbelltown,
1998 Combined exhibition in The Adelaide Festival Theatre, SA.
1991-2001 Group exhibition, ‘Spirit Country’, San Francisco and touring USA.
1999 Combined exhibition ‘Utopia’- BMG art- Adelaide, SA.
1999 Recipient of the Wynne Landscape Prize, NSW.
1999 Self-titled solo exhibition- Flinders Lane Gallery- Melbourne, VIC.
1999 ’Bush Garden’- combined exhibition - Japingka Gallery- Fremantle, WA.
1999 Combined exhibition - ‘Quadrivium Gallery’- Sydney, NSW.
1999 Combined exhibition ‘Caring for Country’- Tandanya Cultural Institute, Adelaide, SA.
1999 Solo Exhibition, Red Desert Gallery, Eumundi, Queensland.
1999 Combined exhibition ‘Flinders Lane Gallery’- Melbourne, VIC.
1999 Combined exhibition - Gallery Savah- Sydney, NSW.
1999 Combined exhibition- North Shore Fine Art- Sydney, NSW.
1999 Solo exhibition, ‘Gloria Petyarre: A Survey’, New England Regional Art Museum, Armidale, NSW.
1999 Solo exhibition, ‘Wildflowers’, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs, NT.
1999 Combined exhibition with Jack Britten- Chapman Gallery- Canberra, ACT.
2000 Combined Exhibition - ‘An Affair to Remember’ - ArtSauce - Singapore.
2000 Combined exhibition- Quadrivium Gallery- Sydney, NSW.
2000 Combined exhibition- Tandanya Cultural Institute- Adelaide, SA.
2000 DACOU in association with AMP- an official sponsor of the
2000 Olympic Games, held a mixed Utopia art exhibition in the AMP building, Sydney.
2000 Combined exhibition - Mary Place Gallery- Sydney, NSW.
2000 Combined exhibition -SCECGS Redlands Art Prize- Sydney, NSW.
2001 ‘Painting Country’- combined exhibition at Tandanya Cultural Institute, Adelaide SA.
2001 ’Desert Colour, My Country’- combined exhibition at Raintree Aboriginal Art Gallery, Darwin NT.
2001 ’Two Women- Dreamings’- exhibited with Barbara Weir at Dreamtime Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA.
2001 ‘Women Artist of the Australian Desert’, combined exhibition at Gallery 2021, Auckland, NZ.
2001 Group exhibition, ‘Recounting the Essence of Life - Art from Australia’. Artforum HDZ, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany. (In cooperation with Aboriginal Art Galerie, Bähr, Speyer)
2001 Group travelling exhibition, ‘Mythology & Reality’ Palazzo B Richerasio Turin, Italy; AAM Utrecht, Netherlands; Monash University Prato Centre, Italy; Jerusalem Centre for the Performing Arts, Israel; SH Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW.; Heide Museum of Modern Art, Melbourne, VIC.
2002 Mixed Utopia exhibition at Knut Grothe Galeri in Charlottlenlund Copenhagen, Denmark.
April 2002 ‘Paintings from Utopia’- combined exhibition at ‘Framed- The Darwin Gallery’, Darwin, NT
2002 Mixed Utopia exhibition at Galerie a Le Temps Du Reve, France.
2002 ’Contemporary Aboriginal Art from The Utopia Region’- combined exhibition at BMGART, Adelaide, SA.
2002 Group exhibition, ‘The Craft and the Light, Art of Australia’, Neuer Kunstverein Aschaffenburg, Germany, (in Co-operation with the Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer).
2002 ‘Images and Identity’, Ev. Akademie Iserlohn, Germany (in Cooperation with the Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer)
2002 Solo exhibition, ‘Leaves You Thinking’, World Vision of Australia, Walkabout Gallery, Sydney,
2002 ‘Generations Utopia’- mixed exhibition at Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, Perth, Western Australia.
2002 Solo exhibition of Atnangkere Growth paintings at Gallery Sava, Sydney, NSW.
2002 Group Exhibition, Utopia Art, Sydney, NSW.
2002 Group exhibition, ‘Crossroads: The Millennium Portfolio of Aboriginal Prints’, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore.
2003 ‘Big Country’. Works from the Flinders University Art Museum collection, Flinders University City Gallery, Adelaide, SA.
2003 ‘The Other Side of the Land, Art from Central Australia’, Group Exhibition, Berlin, Germany (in cooperation with the Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer).
2003 Solo exhibition, ‘Sydney Art Fair’, Gallery Savah, Sydney, NSW.
2004 Group Exhibition, ‘Sanjski cas. Dreamtime’, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana, Slovenia.
2004 Bilderwelten in Utopia. Holzschnitte und Gemaelde vom Aborigines, Staedtisches Kunstmuseum Spendhaus Reutlingen, Kunstmuseum Bayreuth, Germany, (in cooperation with the
Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer).
2004 Die inneren und die äußeren Dinge. Stadtgalerie Bamberg Villa Dessauer, Bamberg, Germany, (in cooperation with the Aboriginal Art Galerie Bähr, Speyer).
2005 Solo exhibition, ‘Recent Paintings’, Gallery Savah, Sydney, NSW.
2005 ‘Summer in the Desert’ Group Exhibition, Hogarth Galleries, Sydney, NSW.
2005-2006 With Ada Petyarre, ‘Black Abstract’, Woolloongabba Art Gallery and touring, Brisbane, QLD.
2006 Group exhibition, APS Bendi Lango Art Exhibition, Rio Tinto Offices, Melbourne, VIC.
2007 Group exhibition, ‘Utopia in New York’. Robert Steele Gallery, New York, USA.
2007 Group exhibition, ‘Utopia’, Australian Embassy, Washington, USA.
2007 Group exhibition, ‘Desert Diversity’, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, VIC.
2007 Group exhibition, ‘Treasures of the Spirit – Investment in Aboriginal Art’, Tandanya Cultural Institute, Adelaide, SA.
Sep 2007 Group exhibition, APS Bendi Lango Art Exhibition with Rio Tinto, Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD.
2007 ’New Works from Utopia’, Space Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
2008 ’Utopia Revisited’, NG Art Gallery, Chippendale, NSW.
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 Athenium, Hartford, U.S.A.;
Westpac, New York;
James D. Wolfensohn Collection;
Wollongong City Art Gallery;
Wollongong University Collection;
University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland;
Singapore Art Museum;
Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory;
About the Petyarre Sisters:
The Petyarre sisters stand unique as a group of women who have, as a family, dominated women’s art in Australia for three decades.
The seven Petyarre sisters of the Utopia area of Central Australia have, since the early 1990’s, all become painters of significance. Some are full and others half-sisters, with four different mothers and one father. They are Ada Bird (b.1930 – d.2009), Myrtle (b. c.1932) Nancy (b. 1934 – d. 2009), Violet (b. 1938), Gloria (b. 1945), Kathleen (b. 1940), Jean (b. c. 1950) and Rosemary Petyarre (b. 1965).
The sisters share the same dreaming of the Mountain or Thorny Devil Lizard (arnkerrth) – the patterns and colours of which change as camouflage, depending on the background patterns of its environment. The sisters are thus able to depict myriad designs, all under this dreaming which they interpret along with others based on Awelye (women’s body design), Bush Medicine Leaves and a large variety of bush foods and other subjects. The works of all the sisters were shown together for the first time in Seven Sisters Petyarre, Brisbane City Gallery, 2002).’
Source: The New McCullochs Encyclopedia of Australian Art, Section Australian Aboriginal Art and Artists, (page 132,) Petyarre Sisters: by Alan McCulloch, Susan McCulloch, Emily McCulloch Childs.