Minnie Pwerle Paintings
Minnie Pwerle (c1910–2006) is a famous Aboriginal artist from Utopia, paints Awelye Body Painting.
Minnie Pwerle (c1910– 2006) was born at Utopia in Central Australia – her country is Atnwengerrp, and her language is Anmatyerre and Alyawarr. Minnie’s emergence and dominance in the world of contemporary art has been compared to the legendary Emily Kame Kngwarreye, who like Minnie, began her painting career in her mid 70s and continued to paint with an energy that belied her age.
Minnie Pwerle’s works are created in a linear style sometimes loose and free flowing or tight and clustered or a combination of both. Her paintings titled “Awelye-Atnwengerrp” depict a series of lines painted in different widths and colours. This pattern represents the lines painted on the upper bodies of the women dancers preparing for ceremonies carried out in their country of Atnwengerrp.
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. Minnie Pwerle and the other women used to collect this fruit [green in colour and ripened to a brown colour] and scrape out the small black seeds. They would then eat the fruit immediately or cut it into small pieces – which were skewered and dried ready to be eaten in the coming months when bush tucker was scarce.
While “Bush Melon” is depicted using a linear design of curves, circles, and breast designs of different colours with a very loose and bold design; “Bush Melon Seed” is big and small patches of colour strewn across the canvas. Both these Dreamings tell the story of this sweet food that comes from a small bush found only in Atnwengerrp.
Minnie Pwerle exhibited her works extensively throughout Australia and the world with great success – she is regarded as one of Utopia’s most famous artists. Aboriginal art status – Highly collectable artist.
2000 Minnie Pwerle, Sydney NSW
2000 Minnie Pwerle, Melbourne VIC
2000 Minnie Pwerle, Alice Springs NT
2000 An exhibition of Utopia artists, Dacou Gallery in association with AMP, AMP Building, Sydney NSW
2001 Out of Utopia, Exhibited with Barbara Weir, Canberra ACT
2001 Group Exhibition, San Anselmo, Marin County California, USA
2001 Minnie Pwerle, Mary Pantjiti McLean – Tumaru Purlykumunu, Small Stories, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2001 Desert Colour – My Country, combined exhibition, Raintree Aboriginal Art Gallery Darwin NT.
2001 Painting Country, combined exhibition, Tandanya, Adelaide.
2001 Combined exhibition, Santa Fey, New Mexico USA.
2001 Women Artists of the Australian Desert, combined exhibition, Auckland, New Zealand
2002 United – Mother and Daughter, Alison Kelly Gallery VIC
2002 New York City, UTSA
2003 Minnie Pwerle, Original & Authentic Aboriginal Art, Melbourne VIC
2003 Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2003 Art and Soul Gallery, Nashville, Tennessee USA
2003 Portland, Oregon, The Cove Gallery, Mary’s Wood, Contemporary Aboriginal Art Event, Umpqua Bank, Art from the Dreamtime, Portland Art Museum, USA
2003 Light Over Utopia, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2004 Diva’s of the Desert, Gallery Gondwana, Alice Springs, NT
2004 Minnie Pwerle & Mitjili Napurrula, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2005 Utopia Revealed, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2006 Colour of Utopia, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2006 Towards Black and White, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2006 Grandmother and Granddaughter – Minnie Pwerle and Teresa Purla, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2008 Utopia Collection, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2010 Summer Collection, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
2010 Desert Song, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle WA
Paintings by other Utopia artists: