Gloria Petyarre

Gloria Petyarre

Gloria was born around 1945 in her country of Atnangkere. She lived in traditional ways before moving to Utopia, one of the established settlements. The Utopia Pastoral Lease was drawn up in 1927 and forced many of the Aboriginal people in this are out of their traditional lands. In 1977 the people of Utopia gained a 99 year leasehold on the Utopia Pastoral Lease which was purchased through the Aboriginal Land Fund Council. A batik program was proposed and became a major success with Gloria being one of the leading artists in this format. It also provided the town of Utopia and its artists with an income and a claim of recognition. Gloria was one of the original artists employed in this program. Her work gained rapid recognition. The Utopia artists then planned a program called 'A Summer Project' whereby they moved from batik to acrylics on canvas. The project was a major success with Gloria and many other artists moving full time into acrylic on canvas.

Gloria paints the traditional women's business subjects that are predominant in Utopia. Quickly mastering the possibilities o acrylics, not only did a huge range of colours emerge, but a far greater tonal range than was possible with batiks began to be seen. Gloria stands out here, with her work she uses often tonal values of different colours creating a dynamic optical intensity. Her work features powerful structural linear patterns derived from body painting, at times submerged or outlined in seas of dots, continually experimenting with line and colour. Gloria says she prefers the greater freedom and control she finds with the medium of acrylic on canvas,.

Gloria Petyarre's Artworks