Gloria Petyarre was born in Mosquito Bore, Utopia in 1945. She is also know as Gloria Pitjara, and considered the most famous and significant of all female Australian Aboriginal Artists living and working today.
Gloria, her family members and her skin family, first became interested in art making by participating in the Utopia Women's Silk Batik Group introduced in 1977 and initiated by CAAMA (the Central Australian Aboriginal Media Association). Both Gloria and Emily Kngwarreye were founding members of the group.
Her career took off with gusto when she won the most coveted Australian annual 'Wynne Prize for Landscape' at the New South Wales Gallery in 1999. The leaves in the winning painting are based on those of the Kurrajong tree, which is used for bush medicine. Years later, Gloria still paints her medicine leaf paintings, and is now followed in doing so by several generations of her family members. However, Gloria was and is credited with being the creator of this popular style, is regarded as the most collectible of its proponents, and has had a strong foundation on which to build her career. She also paints Pencil Yam, Emu, Bean, Small Brown Grass and Body Paint dreaming.
In recent years, she has departed at times from her finer medicine leaf works, to paint her massive 'Big Leaf' paintings, expressionistically rendered with giant brush strokes that mix colour on the canvas to gain a variety of fascinating paint effects. Gloria Petyarre is a multi-award winning artist and a highly collectible one with her works commonly held in the finest Aboriginal Art Collections and Museums worldwide.