This painting of Medicine leaves by Gloria Petyarre demonstrates her superior knowledge of colour. The red, purple and orange leaves overlap to create an explosion of colour on the canvas. In this work she uses very delicate leaves.
Medicine Leaves are traditionally collected for bush medicine by the women who live in Utopia. They also happen to be Gloria’s main subject matter when painting. In this case the leaves are shown as small where some of her other paintings show the leaves as bold brush strokes. Gloria is a prolific artist and despite the limited subject matter she creates truly unique paintings.
Gloria Petyarre has been included in many major collections including the AGNSW, The National Gallery in Canberra and the British Museum collection.
Born about 1945, Gloria Petyarre is a prominent Anmatyerre artist who has been well recognised in Australia for some years. Her work has been widely exhibited since 1977 when she was a part of the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA) Summer Project. This project took some of the women from Utopia to Indonesia to learn how to make Batik. This first foray into art making produced 88 batiks which were all acquired by the Holmes a Court collection in 1987 after touring internationally. Between 1977 and 1987 she participated in numerous group exhibitions with other women artists from Utopia painting in Batik as well as in acrylics. the ease of working with acrylics and the colours available made her transition completely to this medium.
Not only are Gloria’s paintings hung in most of the major collections she is also the focus of portraiture. Some photographs of Gloria are part of the collection in the National Portrait Gallery in Canberra.