aboriginal artist: Gloria Tamerre Petyarre

View artworks by Gloria

Gloria Petyarre, born in 1945 (& sadly passed away in 2021), has participated in both group and solo exhibitions since the 1980’s. She has travelled to Ireland, London, Paris, USA, Singapore, Malaysia and other countries exhibiting her works. Her work is included in the collections of the Australian National State Galleries including the National Gallery of Australia, the Powerhouse Museum -Sydney, Westpac New York, Holmes á Court and many other private collections. In 1999 Gloria won the prestigious art award, the Wynne Prize, for the Best Australian landscape.

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.

Awelye, the women’s ceremonial body paint designs, was the subject of Gloria’s very first painting, she recalls. Over the years Gloria has applied many methods of enhancing the simple linear work in her Awelye paintings, including using sponges, hand work and even a toilet brush.

One of Gloria’s most important Dreamtime stories is that of Arnkerrthe, the Mountain Devil Lizard. Arnkerrthe travelled over Gloria’s land creating all of the people, sacred sites, songs and other Dreamtime stories. In its neck it holds a sac of ochre that Gloria and her people use for ceremonies. Gloria has developed a very popular style for Arnkerrthe Dreaming that she calls the ‘swirly ones’. A unique design by Gloria, these swirls represent the thorny skin on the back of this gentle little lizard.

By far the most well known of all Gloria’s paintings is Leaves. In April 1994 at Mosquito Bore in Utopia, Gloria began doing something new on her canvas.

“That first one. I was looking, looking. Looks like leaf, and I been put another one and another one and ‘ah yeah’. First leaf.” (Gloria Petyarre).

Awards, Acquisitions and Accolades

1995/6 Recipient of a Fellowship Grant from the Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Arts Board of the Australia Council

1999 Winner of the Wynne Prize for the Best Australian Landscape Painting

2004 Highly Commended, Wynne Prize for Best Australian Landscape Painting

2008 Centrefold, Mbantua Gallery and Cultural Museum Newsletter, Issue 21 January 2008


Allen, Allen & Hemsley

Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney

Art Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne


British Museum, London

Campbelltown City Art Gallery

Flinders University, South Australia

Griffith University Collection

Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Surfers Paradise

The Holmes á Court Collection, Perth

Macquarie Bank

Mbantua Gallery Permanent Collection, Alice Springs

Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery

Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin

National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane

Queensland University of Technology

Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

Supreme Court, Brisbane

University of New South Wales, Sydney

University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland

Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford U.S.A

Westpac, New York Wollongong City Art Gallery

Solo Exhibitions

1991 Australian Galleries, New York,USA

1991 Utopia Art, Sydney 1993 Awelye, Utopia Art, Sydney

1995 Gloria Petyarre: On the Line, Utopia Art Sydney

1997 Instant Pictures, Utopia Art Sydney

1998 Gloria Tamerre Petyarre, Campbelltown Bicentennial Art Gallery

1998 The Anangkere Growth Paintings, Chapman Gallery, Canberra

1998 Gloria Petyarre, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs

1998 Gloria Tamerre Petyarre: a survey exhibition, Campbelltown City Bicentennial Art Gallery

1998 Utopia: Ancient Cultures New Forms, Galeri Petronis, Malaysia.

1999 New Leaves, Utopia Art Sydney

1999 Gloria Tamerre Petyarre: a survey exhibition, (touring- New England) Regional Art Museum

1999 Wildflowers, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs

1999 Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne

1999 Redback Gallery, Brisbane 1999 Red Desert Gallery, Eumundi, Qld

2002 Leaves you thinking, World Vision of Australia, Walkabout Gallery, Sydney

2003 Nov – Gloria Petyarre, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs

2006 Leaves of Time, a Retrospect of Gloria Petyarre’s work on canvas, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs

2006 July – Leaves of Time, an exhibition in conjunction with the Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum Exhibition, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs

Group Exhibitions

1984 The First National Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the N.T., Darwin

1985 The Second National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin.

1988 Contemporary Aboriginal Art, Utopia Art Sydney

1988 Time Before Time, Austral Gallery, St.Louis, USA

1989 Art from Utopia, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA

1989 Utopia Women, Coventry Gallery, Sydney;

1989 Utopia Batik, Araluen Centre, Alice Springs;

1989 Aboriginal Art: The Continuing Tradition, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra

1990 Utopia – A Picture Story, an exhibition of 88 works on silk from the Holmes á Court Collection by Utopia artists which toured Eire and Scotland.

1990 Tagari Lia: My Family, Contemporary Aboriginal Art from Australia, Third Eye Centre, Glasgow, UK

1991 The Eighth National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, Darwin

1991 Aboriginal Women’s Exhibition, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

1992 New Tracks Old Land, An exhibition of Contemporary Prints from Aboriginal Art, Touring USA and Australia

1993 Asia Pacific Triennialof Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery

1994 Power of the Land, Masterpieces of Aboriginal Art, National Gallery of Victoria

1995 A Celebration of the Art and Craft of Aboriginal Women, Aboriginal and Tribal Art Centre, Sydney

1996 Seoul Arts Centre, Korea

1996 Fifth Australian Contemporary Art Fair, Royal Exhibition Building, Melbourne

1996 Contemporary Abstract Aboriginal Art, Sherman Galleries, Sydney

1996 Imagining the Real: an exhibition of recent acquisitions from the Parliament House Collection, Canberra

1996 The Third National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Art Award, Old Parliament House, Canberra

1996 Hidden Treasures II: Art in Corporate Collections, SH Ervin Gallery

1996 Flagging the Republic, Sherman Galleries

1996 New England Regional Art Museum touring exhibition

1996 Contemporary Australian Abstraction, Niagara Galleries, Melbourne

1997 Tapestries (woven by the Victorian Tapestry Workshop) Australian Galleries, Sydney

1997 Flagging the Republic, Grafton Regional Gallery

1997 L’Art des Aborigènes d’Australie, Arts d’Australie, Stéphane Jacob and Galerie de Stassart, Bruxelles

1997 L’Art des Aborigènes d’Australie, Arts d’Australie, Stéphane Jacob and Espace Paul Riquet, Béziers

1998 National Works on Paper, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria 1998 Primary Colours: Blue, Annandale Galleries, Sydney

1998 Women Painters of the Desert, Fire-Works Gallery, Fortitude Valley, Queensland

1998 Propositions Australiennes, Arts d’Australie, Stéphane Jacob and galerie Luc Queyrel, Paris

1998 Dreamings, Spazzio Pitti Arte, Italy

1998 Dreamings, Vlaams-Europeesch Conferentiecentrum, Brussels, Belgium

1998 Art Gallery Kunsthuys, the Netherlands

1998 New World Art Gallery, Hattem, the Netherlands

1998 Art Gallery “Culture Store”, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

1998 The Aknangkere Growth Paintings, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT

1999 Exhibition/catalogue Aboriginal Art Galerie Bahr

1999 Utopia: Traditions and Innovation, Recent work by the artists of Utopia NT, Hogarth Galleries

1999 Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs

1999 Jun-Aug – Caring for Country – artists of Utopia, Tandanya, S.A

1999 Utopia: Ancient Cultures New Forms, Art Gallery of Western Australia

1999 Petyarre Dreaming, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne

1999 Crossroads: Millennium Portfolio of Australian Aboriginal Artists, Sherman Galleries, Sydney

1999 Australie – Art, Arts d’Australie, Stéphane Jacob and J.L. Amsler, Bastille, Paris

2000 Utopia Women, Red Desert Gallery, Eumundi, Qld/ Sunshine Coast University/ Noosa Blue Resort, Noosa Qld

2000 Mar-Apr – Artists of Utopia, Tandanya, S.A

2001 Apr-May – Primal Instincts; Bambatu Napangardi, Tibby Ellaga, Lilly Sandover Kngwarreye, and works of paper Gloria Petyarre

2001 May-Jul – Painting Country, Tandanya, S.A 2001 June – De Beer’s Collection, Brookdale Galleries, QLD

2001 Aug – Seven Sisters Petyarre, Brisbane City Gallery, Brisbane

2001 Dreamtime: the Dark and the Light, Kunst der Gegenwart, Sammlung Essl, Vienna

2001 Desert Flowering: Aborignal Art from Private Collections, Manawatu Gallery, New Zealand

2001 8th International Works on Paper Fair, Byron Kennedy Hall, Fox Studios Australia, Sydney

2002 Crossroads: the Millennium Portfolio of Australian Aboriginal Prints, Singapore Art Museum, Singapore

2002 Generations, Japingka Gallery WA 2003 June – Seven Sisters, Chrissie Cotter Gallery, Sydney

2002 Mbantua Gallery USA Exhibitions, Nashville, Knoxville and Portland

2003 Mbantua Gallery USA Exhibitions, Nashville, Knoxville and Portland

2004 Feb – Last of the 20th Century, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs

2004 Aug-Sep – Mbantua Gallery USA exhibition: Portland, Nashville, Knoxville, Hartford, Greenwich, New York and Philadelphia

2004 Evolution of Utopia, Mbantua Gallery Cultural Museum, Alice Springs


1993 Mural for Kansas City Zoo

1993 Tapestry for Victoria Tapestry Workshop

Further Exhibitions

Stanislawsk-Birnberg, M. 1990, Journeylines©

Morphy, H. 1998, Aboriginal Art, Published Phaidon ©

Isaacs, J. 1999, Spirit Country, Contemporary Australian Aboriginal Art, Hardie Grant Books ©

Desart, the Aboriginal art centres of Central Australia 2000, Putting in the Colour – Contemporary Aboriginal Textiles, Jukurrpa Books (IAD Press) ©

Brody, A. 1989 Utopia Women’s Paintings The First Works on Canvas, A Summer Project 1988-89, exhib.cat., Heytesbury Holdings, Perth.

Brody, A. 1990, Utopia: a Picture Story, 88 Silk Batiks from the Robert Holmes a Court Collection.