Gloria Tamerre Petyarre (Tamerre is Gloria’s ‘bush name’ given to her by her father) was born in 1945, she is one of the well known ‘Seven Petyarre Sister’s’ of the Utopia Region 230kms north east of Alice Springs in Central Australia. Within this region lies Gloria’s ancestral country Atnangkere. Gloria belongs to the Anmatyerre language group.
Gloria started her artistic career using non traditional materials in the late seventies and early eighties with the batik program that was initially introduced by the first art and craft coordinators Jenny Green and later Julia Murray. 1990 she traveled to Ireland, London and India as a representative of the Utopia women, accompanying the ‘Utopia: A Picture Story’ exhibition, a collection of 88 silk batiks that is now part of the Holmes ‘a Court Collection. Gloria then took part in the 1988 CAAMA’s ‘Summer’ project that was initiated by the coordinator Rodney Gooch and a Sydney artist/gallery owner Christopher Hodges who introduced the artists to acrylic paint on canvas.
Finding this medium easier to work with in such a harsh environment Gloria continued to experiment with colour and designs associated with the stories that belonged to her country. These include awelye – women’s ceremonial body paint design, arnkerrthe – mountain devil lizard and ntyerrm – bean and seed from the awenth or dogwood tree. It wasn’t until 1994 that Gloria started the design for which she is best known ‘Leaves on the Ground’. Gloria has always been a consistent artist being represented in numerous group and solo exhibitions and the recipient of many art prizes and awards. Her work is represented in hundreds of major collections both nationally and internationally.