Gloria Petyarre

Gloria Petyarre, born circa 1945 has come to be an acclaimed and influential artist in the contemporary indgenous art scene. Her unique style representing several of her dreaming stories including Mountain Devil Lizard, Grass Seeds and Bush medicine leaves combines rich colours with formed curved lines producing a rhythmic, movement effect.

Born in Atnangkere on the outskirts of the Utopia Region in the Northern Territory, speaking the Anmatyerre language, Gloria experienced a traditional upbringing before moving to an established settlement on the Utopia station.

During 1977 Gloria became a founding member of the Utopia Women's Batik Group where she developed a strong interest in art. It was through this medium of merging the aspects of traditional womens business onto silk that Gloria first began to gain recognition as an artist.

In the 1980's Gloria apart of the unprecedented 'summer project' of painting on canvas, switched to painting full time on this new medium favouring its greater freedom of control. This allowed her to further abstract her style, experimenting with line and colour creating optical effects. This is particularly evident in perhaps her most recognised work 'Leaves' which she has refined over the years from scattered leaves to entangled whirls of leaves creating significant movement. Gloria's optically effective 'leaves' went on to win Australias longest running and highly prestigous Wynne Prize in 1999.

Gloria's intricate art work saw her travel to Ireland, England and India in 1990 as a representative of the Utopia – A Picture Story exhibition, followed up by a solo exhibition in 1991 in Australia. Gloria was and still is represented by many Australian art galleries including the National gallery of Australia.

With a strong artistic family including her acclaimed sisters Ada, Mrytle and most notably Kathleen Petyarre, as well as being the niece of perhaps the most acclaimed and decorated indigenous artist Emily Kngawarre, Gloria Petyarre has created her own unique and abstract style of artwork. Constantly innovating her work, Gloria continues to convey her understanding of the traditional aboriginal culture in her artwork.


Gloria's art work can be found in many collections world wide:



  • National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Museum of Victoria, Melbourne
  • Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
  • Art Gallery of Queensland, Brisbane
  • Art Gallery of N.S.W., Sydney
  • Flinders University, Adelaide
  • Griffith University Collection
  • Gold Coast City Art Gallery
  • Queensland University of Technology
  • Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin
  • Supreme Court, Brisbane
  • Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
  • Westpac Gallery, New York, U.S.A.
  • Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, U.S.A.
  • Robert Holmes a Court Collection
  • Wollongong University Collection
  • Artbank, Sydney
  • Macquarie Bank
  • Singapore Art Museum
  • British Museum, London, U.K

Select Exhibitions:

1989 Austral Gallery, St Louis, U.S.A.

1990 "Utopia", exhibited in Ireland, U.K., India

1990 Orange Regional Gallery

1990 Third Eye Centre, Glasgow

1991, 1994, 1995, Art Gallery of N.S.W.

1991 Australia Galleries, New York, U.S.A.

1992 Robert Homes a Court Collection, Bangkok, Thailand Gallery Rai,Tokyo, Japan

1992, 1994, 1996, 2000, 2002 Royal Exhibition Hall, Melbourne

1992 National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

1993 Myra Morgan Gallery, Kansas, U.S.A.

1993 Art Gallery of Queensland, Brisbane

1993 Austral Gallery, St Louis, U.S.A.

1993 Australian Embassy, Paris, France

1995 National Gallery of Australia - Canberra Museum of Art, Gifu, Japan

1995 National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne

1995 Mitchell Galleries, State Library of N.S.W.

1995 Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

1996, 2000 Old Parliament House, Canberra

1996, 1999 Sherman Galleries, Sydney

1996 William Mora Galleries, Melbourne

1997 Australian Galleries, Sydney

1999 Art Gallery of Western Australia

1999 Embassy of Australia, Washington, U.S.A.

1999 Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, U.S.A.

2000 Australian National University, Canberra

2001 Brisbane City Gallery

2001 Manawatu Gallery, New Zealand

2001 Kunst der Gegenwart, Vienna, Austria

2001 "Icons of Australian Aboriginal Art", Singapore

2002 Singapore Art Museum

2002, 2003 National Gallery of Victoria at Federation Square, Melbourne



1999 Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of N.S.W.

1993 Tapestry for Victorian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne, Vic

1993 Mural for Kansas City Zoo, U.S.A.

1994 Tapestry Commission for the Law Courts, Brisbane, Qld