Minnie Pwerle Artwork


Language:  Anmatyerre/Alyawarre
Region: Utopia
Date of Birth: c1920 (deceased March 2006)

Content:  Minnie Pwerle was one of the most significant Artists of recent times. Her paintings depict the ceremonial body paint designs worn by the women of her country. She was renowned for her use of colour and the free-flowing lines used throughout her work. 

Minnie Pwerle was born c1920 in the Utopia Station region of the Northern Territory. Minnie lived a traditional life at Utopia and was the mother to seven children. She belonged to the Anmatyerre and Alyawarre tribe. 

Minnie commenced painting with acrylics in 1999 and continued painting right up to her passing in March 2006. Minnie’s art illustrates designs used by the women of her region during ceremonies. These body paint designs are called Awelye. Her paintings were often characterized by a spontaneous approach using colourful paints and bold brush strokes. The circles in her paintings depict bush melons which were an important food source for the people of the region. 

In 2004 and 2005 Minnie was named as one of ‘Australia’s Fifty Most Collectable Artists’ by the prestigious Australian Art Collector magazine.  

Selected Collections:  

  • Hank Ebes Collection, Melbourne
  • AMP Collection
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