Minnie Pwerle


This tribute is a dedication from Central Art in memory of this great Australian Aboriginal artist.

On her death in 2006, Minnie Pwerle left a substantial body of work which conveyed her deep connection to the land and the knowledge of the foods that it provides. Yet Minnie Pwerle did not produce acrylic works until ten years before her death when she was in her nineties.

Minnie Pwerle was born in C1920’s in a remote community 350 kilometres north east of Alice Springs belonging to the Anmatyerre and Alyawarre tribe. Her life was traditional: one of six children and mother of seven and would have consisted of child rearing, food gathering and ceremony.

When the batik project was introduced to Utopian women in the 1980’s, Minnie participated. She was in her seventies. When artist Lindsay Bird Mpetyane suggested the Utopian women paint on canvas using acrylic paint, Minnie, now in her eighties, began to paint her traditional designs of the Awelye (women’s ceremony) and the Bush Melon Dreaming which she had inherited.

Her works on canvas were an immediate success as she innovated with combining these two elements. The works are mesmerising and deeply moving, raw, bold, infectious and joyful and appealed to audiences around the world.

Minnie Pwerle’s work has been exhibited in the USA in galleries in California, Santa Fe, New York, Nashville, and Portland, New Zealand, Denmark and Australia.

Aboriginal word glossary