Gloria was born around 1945 in her country of Atnangkere. She lived in the
traditional ways before moving to one of the established settlements,
Utopia. The Utopia Pastoral Lease was drawn up in 1927 and forced many of
the Aboriginal people in this area out of their traditional lands. In 1977
the people of Utopia gained a 99 year leasehold on the Utopia Pastoral
Lease which was purchased through the Aboriginal Land Fund Council. The
commission employed a white manager during the first year to provide a transition
for the cattle operation. This proved unsatisfactory and the community
began to discuss moving back to their traditional lands.
All this change in 1977, with the beginnings of the Batik program, which
excelled providing the town of Utopia with an income and a claim of
Gloria was one of the original artist employed in this program. The batik
program was a major success, with Gloria being one of the leading artists
in this format. Her work gained rapid recognition and was seen by Rodney
Gooch from CAAMA. He approached the Utopia artists with a plan called 'A
Summer Project'. The idea was simple, supply the women and men with canvas
and acrylics and have them use their techniques on Batik in the new format.
The project was a major success, with Gloria and many other artist moving
full time into acrylic on canvas.
Gloria paints the traditional women business subjects, which are
predominant in Utopia. The store of white understanding is heavily
influenced by the sex of the contact. In Papunya the contact was Geoffrey
Bardon, therefore most of the original artist were male. In Utopia the arts
advisor was female, allowing the female artists of this area to flourish.
The leading artists quickly mastered the
manipulative possibilities. Not only did a huge range of colors emerge, but
a far greater tonal range than they were able to achieve with batiks.
Gloria stands out here, with her work she uses close tonal values of
different colors, creating a dynamic optical intensity. Her work features powerful
structural linear patterns derived from body painting, outlined with single
dots. At other times the structural pattern becomes submerged in a sea of
dots, the tonal relationships causing the structural pattern to dissolve
into the base design of her painting.
She continues to develop her paintings to higher levels of abstraction,
continually experimenting with line and color. She says she prefers the
greater freedom and control she finds with the medium of acrylic on canvas.
several of her works now have no dots at all, but bands of different color
whose optical effects have evoked comparison to the British artist Bridget
Gloria’s main Dreamings that she paints are the Mountain Devil Lizard,
Bean, Emu, Pencil Yam, Grass Seed and Small Brown Grass and well as the
traditional body paint designs worn by women.
In 1990 Gloria traveled to Ireland, London and India as a representative of
the Utopia Women in the 'Utopia - A picture Story' exhibition. (Tandanya,
Adelaide, The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin Ireland and the Meat Market
Gallery in Melbourne.)
In 1991 she had her first solo exhibition at Utopia Art in Sydney. Since
then she has exhibited at the National Gallery in Canberra, Art Gallery of
New South Wales, Jinta Desert Art in Sydney and the Powerhouse Museum in
Gloria is also featured extensively in major collections around the world.
The National Gallery of Australia, the Robert Holmes a' Court Collection,
Museum of Victoria and the Powerhouse Museum.