Gloria Petyarre began painting her stories in Batik in the late 1970’s and has developed her colour palate and style to make the most of the acrylic on canvas medium. Her paintings are predominantly the bush medicine story how ever she also shares the mountain devil lizard story and the associated awelye (body paint) designs with her sister Kathleen. these she paints as either curly shapes across the canvas or line work respectively.
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 large, expressive dabs of colour painted thickly across the canvas where some of her other paintings show the leaves as intricate, slowly moving patterns. 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 Minister’s residence and she has been selected for the Wynne Prize as a finalist at the AGNSW twice in the last 5 years. Gloria Petyarre has practised her Bush Medicine Leaves story for the last 30 years, honing her skills to portray the bush medicine leaves in a way that the viewer sees and feels the wind rushing through.