Aboriginal Art

Minnie Pwerle

Born in central Australia approximately 1920 her country is Atnwengerrp and her language is Anmatyerre and Alyawarr. Before she started painting her distinctive linear canvases in late 1999 Minnie was commissioned to paint a large Batik for Robert Holmes a Court. In 2000 Minnie had her first solo exhibition in Melbourne. Since then, she has exhibited regularly throughout Australia. Her rhythmic, linear works representing her country of Atnwengerrp immediately captured the attention of collectors, both nationally and internationally.

Minnie Pwerle’s main Dreamings are Awelye-Atnwengerrp, Bush Medicine and Bush Melon Seed, all of which convey her connection with her country and the food it provides the people. Awelye-Atnwengerrp is depicted by a series of lines painted in different widths, patterns and colours. This pattern represents the designs painted on the top half of the women’s bodies during ceremonies in their country of Atnwengerrp. Bush Melon Seed comprises large and small patches of colour strewn across the canvas. This Dreaming tells the story of the sweet bush tucker that comes from a very small bush and is only found in Atnwengerrp. Once very
abundant and fruiting in the summer it is now very hard to find. Minnie Pwerle and the other women used to collect this fruit and scrape out the small black seeds. They would then eat the fruit immediately or cut it into pieces and skewer them on a piece of wood and dry them to be eaten in the times when bush tucker was scarce.

Sadly Minnie Passed away in 2006.

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