Stock Works 13

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47 AM 11533/15
Gloria Petyarre Aknangkere Growth 2011
Acrylic on linen
890 x 1205mm

Gloria Petyarre created a new style of painting in 1988 at the Adelaide DACOU studio to depict a type of flora found in her country of Atnangkere that is located in the Utopia region. 'Atnangkere Growth' is an artistic extension of Gloria's well- known 'Bush Medicine Dreaming' in which she paints the leaves of a particular shrub with strong medicinal qualities that aid in healing. It has dense brownish green leaves and yellow flowers, and grows profusely in the sandy areas of Utopia. In her 'Atnangkere Growth' series, Gloria represents the branches rather than the leaves of this shrub. The branches often cross over one another and can be so dense that the Aboriginal people have to burn a path to pass through them when hunting. She paints the intertwining foliage using uneven linear designs that appear to weave in and out of the canvas. To illustrate the density of the shrub and its wild profusion in the bush she creates layers with different acrylic colours. Between the lines she often splatters random drops of colour to mirror how the flowers bloom in a seemingly haphazard way. Burning is a common practice in the outback and is essential to the regeneration of desert flora and bush tucker. Gloria portrays the burnt blackened areas of the bush by first painting a dark ground colour on the canvas that she then overlays with layers of bright colours to signal new growth and regeneration after fire.

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