Minnie Pwerle 

Aboriginal Paintings

(1910 - 2006)


Awelye Atnwengerrp c.2001
St# 04164
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
1210 x 900mm  

Awelye Atnwengerrp
Synthetic polymer paint on linen
600 x 910mm

Awelye Atnwengerrp c.2005
St# 06682
Synthetic polymer paint on linen
1200 x 900mm  
Awelye Atnwengerrp c.2000
St# 03295
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
1210 x 900mm
Awelye Atnwengerrp c.2004
St# 05559
Synthetic polymer paint on linen
910 x 610mm  
Awelye Atnwengerrp c.2001
St# 03750
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
900 x 600mm

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Utopia Aboriginal Paintings - Catalogue





Minnie Pwerle's contribution to contemporary Indigenous art, her family and community was by any standard colossal. Minnie Pwerle's paintings on linen/canvas adorn the walls of many institutional and private collections throughout Australia and abroad. Over a relatively short period of time i.e. from 1999 to March 2006 Minnie Pwerle created a prodigious volume of paintings that were snapped up by collectors. By 2004 important art dealers and galleries around the world were lining up to purchase Minnie Pwerle paintings.

Gallery Savah's association with Minnie Pwerle began in 1999. Her paintings were included in many group shows and in 2002 a major solo exhibition of installation paintings was launched. Demand for Minnie Pwerle's paintings sold through Gallery Savah was so high it was virtually impossible to gather enough of her paintings for any more solo exhibitions until 2006. The 2006 solo exhibition titled Minnie Pwerle Memorial Exhibition was critically acclaimed as the definitive collection.

Minnie Pwerle was born around c 1910. Her country is Atnwengerrp and her language is Anmatyerre and Alyawarr. She started painting her beautifully coloured linear canvas's in September/October 1999!

Minnie Pwerle's main titles are Awelye-Atnwengerrp, Bush Medicine and Bush Melon Seed, all of which convey her love and respect for the land 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 is represented by meandering linear design, circles and breast motif in different colours, creating very fluid and bold paintings. Bush Melon Seed comprises large and small patches of colour strewn across the canvas. Both these Dreamings tell 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 onto a piece of wood and dry them to be eaten in the coming months when bush tucker was scarce.

Minnie Pwerle died in March 2006.


Copyright Notice ___________________________________________________________________________________Updated May 2008


Gallery Savah
20 Glenmore Road, Paddington, 2021, Sydney Australia.
Ph: 9360 9979 Fax 9331 6993 http://www.savah.com.au