Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming
Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming

Gloria Petyarre

1945 - Mountain Devil Lizard Dreaming 1996
  • acrylic on linen
91.7 cm x 122.2 cm

Since her first solo exhibition in 1991, Gloria Tamerre Petyarre has been regarded as a leading artist in the Utopia community, and has exhibited widely in Australia, Europe, North America and Asia. Like Emily Kam Ngwarray, Petyarre first came to prominence as a batik painter in the late 1970s, before taking up painting on canvas in the late 1980s. As various commentators have noted, this use of sophisticated batik-making techniques, combined with the early referencing of body marking associated with women's ceremonies, shaped the unique forms of Utopia painting in the 1980s. Petyarre, one of four renowned painter sisters, is considered to have taken various forms based on ceremonial markings and her Altyerr or Aknganenty stories to abstraction more consistently than many of her contemporaries. Petyarre is an experimental artist renowned for her diversity and mastery as a colourist. Her work is anchored in 'awely' a term that not only describes women's ceremonial body painting but also the wider concept of 'women's business'. Deborah Edwards in 'Tradition today: Indigenous art in Australia', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2014


This Dreaming belongs to the Petyarre family, the members of which use representations of the Mountain Devil Lizard in their paintings. Most often they use small sections representing the Lizard's back in arm and body designs.

The Mountain Devil Lizard went to Utopia, creating all the ridges and rocks found in the area as it moved through the landscape. The Lizard also brought food to the people of the area.

Source: Sutton Gallery, March 1998


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The Wesfarmers Collection of Australian Art acknowledges all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traditional Custodians of Country and recognises their continuing connection to land, sea, culture and community. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

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