Gloria Petyarre is an aboriginal artist painting in Utopia in the Northern Territory. This painting, Bush Medicine Leaves, by Gloria Petyarre demonstrates her clever use of colour. She also has a unique ability to show movement in her canvas. This painting features the colours of the desert. Gloria Petyarre began painting her stories in Batik and has developed her colour palate and style to make the most of the Acrylic on canvas medium.
Women who live in Utopia traditionally collect leaves from the trees and bushes to make medicines. They also happen to be Gloria’s main subject matter when painting. The leaves show movement as the wind blows through the leaves. Her bush medicine story shows leaves as small intrictate details where some of her other paintings show the leaves as large vibrant brush strokes. Gloria is a prolific artist and despite the limited subject matter she creates truly unique paintings.
Gloria has worked featured at the art gallery of NSW and the national gallery in Canberra. One of her large paintings is hung in the Prime Ministers residence and she has been selected for the Wynne Prize as a finalist at the AGNSW twice in the last 5 years. She has also been the subject of photographs, displayed in the Portrait Gallery in Canberra.
Gloria Petyarre began painting during the 1980’s when Women from Utopia went to Indonesia to learn the Batik technique. Gloria’s uses definite lines and brush strokes in her paintings. These include body paint designs and mountain devil lizard stories.
Gloria Petyarre’s rendition of bush medicine leaves is in very small brush strokes where as her depictions of Mulga Leaves tend to be larger brush strokes. The bush medicine leaves grow on a variety of trees from salt bush to mulga plants. Salt Bush and Mulga plants grow in inven the most arid of country.