Awelye, or ceremonial body paint design forms the basis of most of Gloria's early compositions, as seen in the painting entitled Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming below. At first they clearly showed the designs painted across the women's breasts and shoulder's in ceremony. Since those early highly distinctive works she has developed her painting style to higher levels of abstraction, continually experimenting with line and color and brush work. Her most recent works manifest a high degree of painterly abstraction.



Ada Bird & Gloria Petyarre painted up for Women's Business



Gloria said this about the derivation of her painting style: "The old women used to (and still do) paint the ceremonial designs on their breasts, first with their fingers, and on their chests, and then with a brush called a tyepale, made from a stick. They painted their thighs with white paint. They painted with red and white ochres. Then they danced showing their legs. The old women danced with a ceremonial stick in the earth. The Spirits of the country gave women’s ceremony to the old woman. The woman sings, then she gives that ceremony to the others, to make it strong. The old woman is the boss because the spirits of the country have given her the ceremony. So all the women get together and sing."




Now Loading: Australian Aboriginal painting from Utopia by Gloria Petyarre




22. (TVU 71)
Mountai Devil Lizard Dreaming
(Body Paint)
Gloria Petyarre
Acrylic on Canvas
59 x 48 inches
150 x 122 cms





Now Loading: Australian Aboriginal painting from Utopia by Gloria Petyarre


23. (TVU 15)
Atnangkere IV
Gloria Petyarre
Acrylic on Canvas
48 x 36 inches
122 x 92 cms

For Sale

All Gloria Petyarre paintings from Utopia indicated with green dots For Sale are currently for sale. Prices and photos can be obtained by contacting Songlines Aboriginal Art Gallery via e-mail, please be specific and mention the name and inventory code of the paintings. We particularly welcome phone calls in the U.S. at (415-871-5901). -- David Betz, Curator