Gloria Petyarre

Gloria Petyarre (b.1945) was born in the region of Utopia that is located 270km northeast from Mparntwe (Alice Springs). Her language is Anmatyerre and her Country is Aknangkere. Petyarre is well-known for her vibrant Bush Medicine Dreaming paintings that capturing the colourful seasonal changes of the leaves of a particular type of shrub that has powerful medicinal qualities1 – her vibrant and varied brushstrokes filling each of her canvases with brightly coloured and highly gestural stippling to represent the plants growth, and seasonal change.

Petyarre’s Anangkere Growth embraces a similar colour palette and subject to Roberts, though from a much closer perspective. Her blended brushstrokes range from dark through to light green, their sectioned edges blurring the lines between. In this work, Petyarre draws focus down within the undergrowth of the bushland throughout her homeland in Utopia – deeper, darker greens are representative of the burnt, blackened areas of a recent cultural burning, while her light yellow-greens are suggestive of the regeneration of new growth after a fire2. Her work reflects on life of the land to which she and her people belong.

  1. Japingka Aboriginal Art, “Gloria Petyarre Paintings,” accessed December 15, 2020,
  2. Art Mob, “Gloria Petyarre: Aknangkere Growth,” accessed December 14, 2020,