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Gloria Petyarre / Medicine Leaves (1D)

200cm x 110cm Acrylic on Canvas

SKU: IW8275

$5,850.00

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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 travelled 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. 
 
Selected Solo Exhibitions
 
1991
• Australian Galleries, New York, USA
• Utopia Art Sydney
 
1993
• Awelye, Utopia Art Sydney
 
1994
• Utopia Art Sydney
 
1995
• Gloria Petyarre: On the Line, Utopia Art Sydney
 
1996
• Fire Works Gallery, Brisbane
 
1997
• Instant Pictures, Utopia Art Sydney
 
1998
• Gloria Petyarre, Campbelltown Art Gallery
 
1999
• Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne
• Gloria Petyarre New England Regional Art Museum
• Red Desert Gallery, Eumundi
• Redback Gallery, Brisbane
• Wildflowers, Mbantua Gallery, Alice Springs
 
2002
• Leaves You Thinking, Walkabout Gallery, Sydney
 
Selected Collections 
• Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
• National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
• National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
• Museum of Victoria, Melbourne
• Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane
• The Holmes a Court Collection, Perth
• Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide
• Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
• Flinders University, Adelaide
• Campbelltown City Art Gallery
• Gold Coast City Art Gallery, Queensland
• Griffith University Collection
• Queensland University of Technology
• Supreme Court, Brisbane
• Powerhouse Museum, Sydney
• Westpac Gallery, New York
• Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, U.S.A
• Robert Holmes a Court Collection
• Wollongong University Collection
• Artbank, Sydney
• Macquarie Bank
• Singapore Art Museum
• British Museum, London
 

This beautiful artwork depicts leaves of the Kurrajong tree which is used for bush medicine. Bush Medicine is Australian Aboriginal people’s traditional practice. It was believed that evil spirits caused any illness without an obvious explanation and these would be treated by the tribe’s medicine man whom would specialise in spiritual cures.

Women from the Anmatyerre region gather the leaves to be used in traditional bush medicines. The leaves are boiled and mashed with animal fats (emu or kangaroo) making a medicinal poultice or paste which can last for many months. The paste is then applied to the skin to heal a multitude of afflictions such as bites, wounds, skin infections, rashes, skin cancer and the like. The leaves are also steeped in hot water to make an infusion, or healing tea.

The leaves of the important Kurrajong, or Kurrawong tree features in these iconic paintings which first stormed into the world’s attention when Gloria Petyarre won the coveted Australian ‘Wynne Prize’ for landscape in 1999. The work in question was a large green and gold medicine leaf painting (entitled ‘Leaves’). The leaves were very fine – each resulting from a dot with a tail that tapered off to nothing – but not just one leaf; a dense pattern of thousands of them, all seemingly flowing to the tune of some breeze swirling them in unison.

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