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Gloria was born c. 1945 at Atnangkere Soakage, Northern Territory. She lived in the traditional ways before moving to one of the established settlements, Utopia. Her language is Anmatyerre and her country is Atnangkere.
Gloria is one of seven sisters who are all acclaimed artists, including Kathleen Petyarre, Violet Petyarre and Ada Bird. Her Aunt is the late Emily Kame Kngwarreye, the most celebrated painter of the Utopia Movement and Australia’s best known desert artist.
In the 1970s, Gloria was a founding member of the Utopia Women’s Batik Group. In the 1980s, Gloria made her first painting on canvas (for CAAMA’s Summer Project exhibition) and developed her unique style of depicting the stories and her understanding of the traditional country.
In 1990 she traveled to Ireland, London and India as a representative of the Utopia Women in the ‘Utopia – A picture Story’ exhibition and in 1995/96, she received a Full Fellowship Grant from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Board of The Australia Council.
Gloria had her first solo exhibition in 1991 at the Australia Gallery in New York. In 1993, she executed a Mural for Kansas City Zoo, and in 1999, she won the prestigious Wynne Landscape Prize at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.
Gloria Petyarre’s paintings are highly sort after by collectors and galleries throughout the world and she is regarded as one of Utopia’s most significant artists.