This painting 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.
Mulga 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 large where some of her other paintings show the leaves as small intricate patterns being blown in the wind. Gloria is a prolific artist and despite the limited subject matter she creates truly unique paintings.
Born about 1945, Gloria Petyarre is a prominent Anmatyerre artist who has been at the forefront of contemporary Australian painting for some years. Her work has been widely exhibited since 1977. Between 1977 and 1987 she participated in numerous group exhibitions with other women artists from Utopia. While she works within the bounds of traditional knowledge and often expresses Tjukurrpa themes and traditional women’s body designs, Gloria remains a contemporary artist, exhibiting a number of clear stylistic innovations, both sequential and concurrent. At the same time, the forms or structures that can be discerned underlying much of her work are reminiscent of the forms of other kin, in particular Emily Kame Kngwarreye and her sister Ada Bird.
Gloria’s work is represented in most public galleries and many significant corporate collections and in 2004 , 2005, 2007 and 2011 she was selected to exhibit in the Wynne (Landscape) Prize as a finalist at the AGNSW, having previously won this prize in 1999.