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Minnie Pwerle


Minnie Pwerle (c1910 – 2006), a prolific and expressive Aboriginal artist, was born on the Utopia homelands, about 250 kms north-east of Alice Springs. Her country is Atnwengerrp and her language is Anmatyerre and Alyawarr. Minnie Pwerle made her first paintings at Utopia Community in September 1999 when she was in her late 80’s.

The artist’s main Dreamings are “Awelye-Atnwengerrp” (Women’s Dreaming), “Bush Melon”, and “Bush Melon Seed”. These convey her love and respect for the land and the food it provides to the people. “Awelye-Atnwengerrp” is depicted as a series of lines painted in different widths and colours. This pattern represents the lines painted on the top half of the women’s bodies during ceremonies in their country of Atnwengerrp.

“Bush Melon” is depicted using a linear design of curves, circles, and breast designs in different colours. “Bush Melon Seed” is big and small patches of colour strewn across the canvas. Both these Dreamings tell the story of the sweet food that comes from a small bush and is only found in Atnwengerrp. Once very abundant and fruiting in the summer season, the bush melon is now very hard to find.

Minnie Pwerle’s paintings have been included in many exhibitions at Japingka Gallery including-

2012 Heirs and Successors
2010 Summer Collection
2008 Utopia Collection
2006 Grandmother and Granddaughter – Minnie Pwerle & Teresa Purla
2006 Towards Black and White
2006 Colour of Utopia
2005 Utopia Revealed
2004 Minnie Pwerle & Mitjili Napurrula
2003 Light Over Utopia
2001 Minnie Pwerle, Mary Pantjiti McLean – Tumaru Purlykumunu, Small Stories

A selection of paintings by Minnie Pwerle is available from Japingka Gallery, where collectors can buy Aboriginal art online with certainty of quality, authenticity and provenance of art works.

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Aboriginal Art (991)