Gloria Petyarre 
Mountain devil dreaming
 2003
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Geelong Gallery, Gift of Jim Cousins AO and Libby Cousins, 2017
© Gloria Petyarre licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency
Photographer: Andrew Curtis


Gloria Tamerre Petyarre


Gloria Tamerre Petyarre
Language group: Anmatyerre

Mountain devil dreaming 2003
synthetic polymer paint on canvas
Geelong Gallery
Gift of Jim Cousins AO and Libby Cousins, 2017
© Gloria Petyarre licensed by Aboriginal Artists Agency

The panels in Gloria Tamerre Petyarre’s work represent Awelye and the ceremonial body paint design associated with the Mountain Devil Dreaming in Atnangkere Country. In women’s ceremony, these designs are painted onto the chests, breasts, shoulders and arms with ochres. One of Petyarre’s most significant Dreamtime stories is that of Arnkerrthe, the Mountain Devil Lizard. Arnkerrthe travelled over Petyarre’s country creating people, sacred sites, songs and stories. The Dreamtime story says that in its neck Arnkerrthe holds a sack of ochre which Petyarre and her people use for ceremonies. These panels exemplify Petyarre’s unique design of brush stroke swirls to represent the thorny skin on the back of the lizard.

Take a closer look at the unique brushstrokes in Gloria Tamerre Petyarre’s Mountain devil dreaming to discover how they represent the thorny skin of the lizard's back.

Learn more

Exploring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories—A Geelong Gallery collection resource (PDF, 2.37 MB)