Indigenous Australian art gallery est. 1989.

Gloria Petyarre Biography and CV

Gloria Petyarre Portrait Delmore Gallery

Gloria Petyarre was one of the most successful living female Indigenous Australian artists.

Gloria (Tamerre) Petyarre, born in 1945, deceased June 2021, is one of seven sisters who belong to Arlperre country near an outstation called Boundary Bore on Utopia, 260 kilometres north east of Alice Springs. She belongs to the Anmatyerre people (of the Eastern Anmatyerre language group) who have produced many renowned artists including Clifford Possum and Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

Gloria began painting on fabric in the batik technique in 1977, initially instructed by Yipati, a Pitjantjatjara artist from Ernabella and Suzie Bryce, a craft instructor. Later, Jenny Green, a wonderfully enthusiastic facilitator, provided cotton material and paints for the women to use. Jenny also taught many of the women to sign their names, as well as other skills that would make a difference to life at Utopia (including how to drive a car). Later, Julia Murray arrived and introduced silk as a medium to the artists.

After ten years of creating batik on silk and cotton in glorious colours, with the training and encouragement of Jenny and Julia, Gloria took part in the Summer Project exhibition at the S. H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, in April 1989, on small canvas boards. This was organised by Rodney Gooch of the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association (CAAMA). This exhibition created a great deal of interest in Gloria's work. Her silk batiks were later shown to a wider audience in 1990, when 88 works from the Holmes a Court collection toured Ireland, Scotland and Harvard University and the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in the USA; Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, Oregon, USA; The Forum, St Louis, Missouri USA; and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

Also in April 1989, several artists including Emily Kngwarreye, Lily Sandover Kngwarreye and her sister, asked for art materials at Delmore. Gloria Petyarre was one of the first of 138 artists who painted during what became the foundational year for Delmore Gallery. After initially trialling other materials, Delmore Gallery settled on using Belgian linen and acrylic paints.

On 31 October 1989, Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, opened a Utopia women's exhibition sourced from Delmore Gallery. This was the first exhibition of works from Utopia on linen. Including paintings by Gloria Petyarre, the exhibition was successful in creating a wave of interest in Utopia art across Australia. The Utopia artists from Delmore Gallery were in high demand.

Gloria was one of a few contemporary artists who could truly reinvent herself. She has successfully changed styles several times, usually inspired by traditional body painting (awelye), her father's Dreaming stories and her own animal (the thorny mountain devil) and plant (medicine leaves) stories.

The beautifully lined 'Mountain Devil' painting, acquired by Le Louvre, Paris in 1994 elevated Gloria and by extension Indigenous Australian art to fame in Europe and throughout the contemporary art world. This work, painted for Delmore Gallery, was sold to Le Louvre by Stephane Jacob. It now resides in Le Louvre’s Musée du quai Branly. By 1999, Gloria had won The Wynne prize for landscape and was a finalist another four times. Her ‘Bush Medicine’ paintings became extremely popular in Australia.

Gloria travelled around the world several times, participating in a series of projects and exhibitions such as the creation of a mural at the Kansas City Zoo, USA. Gloria recently developed a new style while visiting Uluru for the first time. The artworks she created there are related to the early works she produced at Delmore, over twenty years ago. They are inspired by the traditional body painting she learned as a teenager, and her father's Mountain Devil Dreaming, which has such a powerful influence on her art. Also, by the Anmatyerre people's strong historical connections to Uluru - they would traditionally visit after big rains, when all the water holes and rock holes were full, enabling them to walk there from their country, Arlperre.

The Holt Collection includes Gloria Petyarre’s early batik silks and a retrospective selection of her work spanning over 35 years.

View Gloria Petyarre's paintings



Musee du quai Branly, Paris
Musée des arts d’Afrique et d’Océanie, Paris
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne
Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
Art Gallery of Queensland, Brisbane
Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
Donald Holt Collection, Australia
Janet Holt Collection, Australia
Allen, Allen & Hemsley
Artbank, Sydney
Baker-McKenzie Collection
British Museum, London, UK           
Campbelltown City Art Gallery, Campbelltown, NSW
Flinders University, Adelaide
Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Gold Coast, Queensland
Griffith University Collection, Queensland
James D. Wolfensohn Collection
Levi Collection, Seattle, Canada
Holmes à Court Collection, Australia
Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane
Macquarie Group Collection
Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Victoria
Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria
Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory, Darwin
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
Supreme Court Collection, Brisbane
Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
The Robert Holmes a Court Collection
University of New South Wales Collection, Sydney, NSW
University of the Sunshine Coast Collection, Queensland
University of Woollongong, Woollongong, NSW
Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, U.S.A
Woollongong City Art Gallery, Woollongong, NSW
Westpac Gallery, New York, USA



2017  Sacred Marks, JGM Gallery, London, U.K.
2017  Utopia: the artists of Delmore Downs, Yaama Ganu Gallery, Moree
2016  Utopia Sisters - The Petyarre Women, Delmore Gallery with RedSea Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
2011  Aboriginal Art Collectors Gallery, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2010  New Beginnings, Central Art – Aboriginal Art Store, Alice Springs (touring Germany)
2009  Abstraction, Utopia Art, Sydney, NSW
2009  5th Shalom Gamarada Aboriginal Art Exhibition, University of New South Wales, Sydney
2009  Size Matters, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2008  Three Petyarre's, Kate Owen Gallery, Sydney, NSW
2008  Gooch's Utopia, Flinders University, Adelaide, SA
2007  The Petyarre Sisters 2007, Central Art – Aboriginal Art Store, Alice Springs, NT
2006  A Survey, Utopia Art Sydney, NSW
2006  National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington DC, USA
2006  Utopia, Flinders Lane Gallery, VIC
2004  Fremantle Arts Centre, WA
2004  Curtin University of Technology, WA
2004  Ivan Dougherty Gallery, COFA, NSW
2004  The Women's Show, Vivienne Anderson Gallery, VIC
2004  Utopia, Gloria, Barbara, Minnie, Flinders Lane, VIC
2003  Glen Eira City Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
2003  Chapel off Chapel, Melbourne, VIC
2003  National Gallery of Victoria at Federation Square, Melbourne, VIC
2002  Chapel off Chapel, Melbourne, VIC
2002  National Gallery of Victoria at Federation Square, Melbourne, VIC
2002  Singapore Art Museum, Singapore
2002  Light Square Gallery, Adelaide, SA
2002  Knut Grothe Galeri, Denmark
2002  Two thirds sky, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery & Arts Centre, NSW
2002  The Utopia Six, Flinders Lane Gallery, VIC
2001  Icons of Australian Aboriginal Art, Singapore 
2001  Utopia Art, Sydney, NSW
2001  Kunst der Gegenwart, Vienna, Austria
2000  Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
2000  Fireworks Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
2000  Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT
1999  Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
1999  Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, USA
1999  Embassy of Australia, Washington, USA
1999  Art Gallery of Western Australia, WA
1999  Embassy of Australia, Washington, U.S.A.
1999  Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, U.S.A.
1999  New England Regional Art Museum, NSW
1999  New Leaves, Utopia Art Sydney. NSW
1999  Quadrivium Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1999  Utopia, BMG Art, Adelaide, SA
1999  Arts d'Australie, Bastille, Paris, France
1999  Wynne Prize exhibition Winning entry
1998  Annandale Galleries, Sydney, NSW
1998  The Anangkere Growth Paintings, Chapman Gallery, Canberra, ACT
1998  Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, NT
1998  The Adelaide Festival Theatre, SA
1998  Propositions Australiennes, Galerie Luc Queyrel, Paris
1997  Australian Galleries, Sydney, NSW
1997  Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
1997  Galerie de Stassart, Bruxelles, Belgium
1997  Sutton Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
1996  William Mora Galleries, Melbourne, VIC
1996  Sherman Galleries, Sydney, NSW
1996  Old Parliament House, Canberra, ACT
1996  Seoul Arts Centre, Korea
1996  Niagara Galleries, Melbourne, VIC
1995  Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, NSW
1995  Mitchell Galleries, State Library of NSW
1995  Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
1995  National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, VIC
1995  National Gallery of Australia, Canberra Museum of Art, Gifu, Japan
1994  Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
1994  Royal Exhibition Hall, Melbourne, VIC
1993  Australia Embassy, Paris, France
1993  Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA
1993  Art Gallery of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
1993  Myra Morgan Gallery, Kansas, USA
1992  National Gallery of Australia Canberra, ACT
1992  Royal Exhibition Hall Melbourne, VIC
1992  Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Gallery Rai, Tokyo, Japan
1992  Robert Holmes a Court Collection, Bangkok, Thailand
1992  Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
1991  Australia Galleries, New York, USA
1991  Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW
1991  Meat Market Gallery, Melbourne, VIC
1991  S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1990  Third Eye Centre, Glasgow
1990  Orange Regional Gallery, NSW
1990  Utopia, exhibited in Ireland, UK and Calcutta, India
1990  Tandanya, Adelaide, SA
1989  Bloomfield Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1989  Araluen Arts Centre, Alice Springs, NT
1989  Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA
1989  National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, ACT
1989  Coventry Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1989  Gallery Gabrielle Pizzi, Melbourne, VIC
1989  A Summer Project, S.H.Ervin Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1988  Bloomfield Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1984  First National Aboriginal Art Award Exhibition, AGNT, Darwin


1988  Time Before Time, Austral Gallery, St Louis, USA
1988  Painting and Batik from the Desert, Utopia Art, Sydney, NSW
1988  Utopia Batik, Craft Council Gallery, Canberra, ACT
1988  Utopia Batik, Queensland Museum, Brisbane, QLD
1987  Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle, WA
1987  Darwin Museum Gallery, Darwin, NT
1987  Yirrkala Community Centre, Northern Territory
1987  Jogyakarta Fine Art Academy, Indonesia
1987  Sydney Expo, Craft Council Gallery, Sydney, NSW
1987  The Araluen Centre, Alice Springs, NT
1986  Craft Council Gallery, Canberra, ACT
1986  Bundaberg Art Gallery, Queensland
1986  The Araluen Centre, Springs Craft Festival, Alice Springs, NT
1985  Black Women in Focus, Adelaide Festival, Adelaide, SA
1985  Burnie Gallery, Tasmania
1985  Tasmanian Craft Gallery, Hobart, TAS
1984  Craft Council Gallery, Canberra, ACT
1984  Queensland University Gallery, Brisbane, QLD
1984  Fireworks Gallery, Adelaide, SA
1984  Sydney Craft Expo, Sydney, NSW
1984  Darwin Craft Council Gallery, Darwin, NT
1984  The Araluen Centre, Alice Springs, NT
1983  Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide, SA
1983  Alice Springs Craft Council, Alice Springs, NT
1982  Sydney Craft Expo, Sydney, NSW
1982  Brisbane Commonwealth Games Exhibition, Brisbane, QLD
1981  Floating Forests of Silks - Utopia Batik from the Desert, Adelaide Festival Centre, SA
1980  Artworks, Alice Springs, NT



2004  Highly Commended, Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
1999  Wynne Prize, Art Gallery of New South Wales
1996  Full Fellowship Grant, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board, the Australia Council
1993  Tapestry for Victorian Tapestry Workshop, Melbourne
1994  Tapestry Commission, Law Courts Brisbane, Brisbane
1993  Mural for Kansas City Zoo, Kansas, USA