Cowboy Louie Pwerle

Cowboy Louie Pwerle, or Cowboy Loy, Utopia artist b.1941, Eastern Anmatyerr language, paints Bush Turkey Dreamings using fine dot work.

Cowboy Louie Pwerle (also spelt Cowboy Loy Pwerle) creates his paintings based around three Dreamings from his Utopia homelands located about 250 kms north-east of Alice Springs. These Dreamings are from Eastern Anmatyerr country, which lies on the western side of the Sandover River. The Dreamings are the  Bush Turkey, Emu and Lizard Dreaming.

The most painted of these stories is the Bush Turkey Dreaming, where the tracks of the Ancestor Being are imprinted upon the country as he journeys between the major Creation sites in his quest for food. Cowboy Loy builds up the continuous journey of the Ancestor spirit with fields of tiny dots that make up a mesmerising pattern of Creation and movement.

Cowboy Loy Pwerle has lived all his life on and around his traditional country. He was born on Old McDonald Station in 1941 and derived his name ‘Cowboy’ from his role as a stockman. He began his painting career during the 1980s when the great surge of art production began at Utopia, and has maintained the quality of his painting and story narratives. Aboriginal art status – Established artist.

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2006   ArtParis 2006, Grand Palais, Paris FRANCE
  • 2007   Visions of Utopia, Cooee Aboriginal Art, Sydney NSW
  • 2007   Memory As Landscape, Masterpiece @ IXL, Hobart TAS
  • 2007   Utopia Today, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art
  • 2007   ArtParis 2007, Grand Palais, Paris FRANCE
  • 2008   Impulse to Paint: The Artists of Iylenty, Utopia, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art
  • 2008   Moscow World Fine Art Fair, Manege, Moscow, Russia
  • 2008   Annual Collectors’ Exhibition, Lauraine Diggins Fine Art, Melbourne VIC
  • 2008   Sydney Art & Antiques Fair 2008, Sydney NSW
  • 2009   Blake Prize, The Blake Society, National Art School Gallery, Sydney (finalist) City of Albany Art Prize, 4 – 27 April 2009, Vancouver Arts Centre, Albany
  • 2009   An Individual Perspective: From the Collection of Lauraine Diggins, Deakin University Art Gallery, Burwood VIC
  • 2010   59th Blake Prize, National Art School Gallery, Sydney NSW
  • 2010   Salon des Refuses, S.H. Ervin Gallery, Sydney NSW
  • 2012   Sandover River Stories, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
  • 2013   Landmarks and Law Grounds: Men of the Desert, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
  • 2014  Dot Code: Desert Artists, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
  • 2016   Camel Camp & Beyond, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA


  • National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne VIC
  • Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide SA
  • Benalla Art Gallery
  • Museum of Victoria, Melbourne VIC
  • Stichting Sint-Jan, Brugge, Netherlands
  • The Casama Group, Melbourne VIC
  • Private collections in Australia and France.


  • Johnson, V., 1994, The Dictionary of Western Desert Artists, Craftsman House, East Roseville.
  • Reference – the Art of Utopia A new Direction in Contemporary Aboriginal Art – Michael Boulter 1991