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Gloria Petyarre


Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming  | 110h x 200w | RK451

Not framed or stretched  |  Acrylic on canvas

Gloria Petyarre (b c.1945-2021) was one of seven sisters who are all well known Indigenous artists, including Kathleen, Nancy, Violet and Ada Bird. She is also the niece of Emily Kame Kngwarreye.

She is arguably the most famous and significant of all female Australian Aboriginal Artists. It would be easy to think that Gloria's works are limited to bush medicine leaf works, but in fact she has quite a number of dreaming stories in her portfolio. One of Gloria’s most significant Dreamtime stories is that of Arnkerrthe, the Mountain Devil Lizard. 

This work depicts the Mountain Devil Lizard Dreamtime story about an old woman travelling across the Atnangker country outlining the landscape and identifying sacred sites. The Mountain Devil Lizard dreaming story is Gloria Petyarre’s totem, with the responsibility to look after the lizard. The Mountain Devil Lizard (Moloch horridus) is a small, colourful lizard that is covered in conical spines in camouflage shades of cream, brown and tan. It grows up to 20cm long and lives in the Utopia region of the Northern Territory in Australia. The Anmatyerre and Alyawerre people of Utopia have a special Dreamtime story about the lizard, believing that the lizard carries coloured ochre (natural earth pigments) in the sack around its neck and is responsible for the distribution of ochre (colour) throughout the desert landscape. The Mountain Devil Lizard is also known as the Thorny Devil Lizard. 

Gloria developed a very popular style for Arnkerrthe Dreaming that she calls the ‘swirly ones’.  A unique design by Gloria, these brush stroke swirls represent the thorny skin on the back of this gentle little lizard. 

Gloria Petyarre is a multi-award winning artist and a highly collectable one.

Please Note: This Artist has passed away and out of respect for Aboriginal culture, we have removed any photos of this Artist holding her artworks from our website.

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