Minnie Pwerle

Minnie Pwerle
1920 (Utopia Station, Northern Territory) - 18.03.2006

Country: Utopia
Nationality: Australian
Language group: Anmatyerre


Minnie was born around 1910 near the cattle station of Utopia in Northern Territory. She belongs to the Anmatyerre and Alyawarr language groups. She is the mother of acclaimed artist Barbara Weir. Like many other Utopia women artists, Minnie participated in the batik project which was introduced to the community in 1977. Although painting started in the late 1980s in her community, Minnie started to paint on canvas only in 1999, while in her late eighties and after many years of ceremonial body painting. Together with her good friend Emily Kame Kngwarreye Minnie revolutionized Aboriginal Art by painting in a radically different manner than their fellow artists from the Western Desert. Minnie's style was spontaneous, free, and embraced bold and vibrant colours. Her paintings include two main design themes. The first consists of free-flowing and parallel lines in a pendulous outline, depicting the designs used in women's ceremonies, or Awelye. The second are circular shapes, used to represent bush tomato, bush melon, and wild desert orange. Her spiritual connection to the land is unmistakable in all her paintings. Minnie continued to paint until she died in March 2006. 


2001 Group exhibition, San Anselmo, Marin County, California, USA. 2001 'Small Stories: Minnie Pwerle, Mary Pantjiti McLean, Tumaru Purlykumunu', Japingka Gallery, Perth, WA.

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Desert', group exhibition, Gallery 2021, Auckland, New Zealand.
2002 'United – Mother and Daughter', with Barbara Weir, Alison Kelly Gallery, Armadale, VIC. 2002 Group exhibition, New York City, USA.

2002 Mbantua Gallery, group exhibition, Alice Springs, NT.
2002 Knut Grothe Galeri, Utopia group exhibition, Charlottlenlund, Copenhagen. 2002 Galerie à Le Temps Du Reve, Utopia group exhibition, Pont-Aven, France. 2002 ‘Minnie’s Country’, DACOU Gallery, Adelaide, SA.

'Desert Colour- My Country', group exhibition, Raintree Aboriginal Art Gallery, Darwin,

Dreamtime Gallery, group exhibition, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. 'Women Artists of the Australian

2002 2002 Award. 2002 2002 2002 2003 2003 2003 2003 2004 2005 2006 2006 2006 2007 2007

Showroom, Edgecliffe, NSW.
2008 'EWB Elements', travelling group exhibition, all major cities of Australia, DACOU in conjunction with Dreamtime Art.

  1. 2008  'Minnie Pwerle – Body Paint', solo exhibition, DACOU Melbourne, Middle Park, VIC.

  2. 2009  'Utopia – Colors of the Desert', Gongpyeong Art Space in conjunction with DACOU,

AustralianEmbassy in Korea and Crossbay Gallery, Seoul, Korea.

‘Generations Utopia’, group exhibition, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, Perth, WA. Selected entrant in the 2002 19th Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art

‘Awelye Atnwengerrp’, solo exhibition, DACOU Gallery, Adelaide, SA. Urban Wineworks Gallery,Portland, Oregon, USA.
‘In the Cove’, Carriage House Gallery, Portland, Oregon, USA.
‘My Grandmother & Me’, World Vision, Walkabout Gallery, Sydney, NSW. ‘Minnie Pwerle & Mitjili Napurrula’, Japingka Gallery, Fremantle, WA.

Art & Soul Gallery, group exhibition, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.
‘Art from the Dreamtime', Portland Art Museum, Oregon, USA.
Named by Art Collector as "one of Australia's 50 most collectible artists".
Finalist in the 2005 Telstra National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Award. ‘The Pwerle Sisters', group exhibition, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, VIC. 'Memorial Exhibition', solo exhibition, Gallery Savah, Sydney, NSW.

APS Bendi Lango Art Exhibition, group exhibition, Rio Tinte Offices, Melbourne, VIC. ‘Utopia in New York’, Robert Steele Gallery, New York, USA.

'Desert Diversity, group exhibition, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, VIC.

'New Works from Utopia’, Space Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA, USA.
'Atnwengerrp: Land of Dreaming', Minnie Pwerle carpet launch, Designer Rugs

Melbourne & Middle Park, VIC.

'Utopia', group exhibition, DACOU Melbourne, Middle Park, VIC.
'Desert Rhythms', group exhibition, Flinders Lane Gallery, Melbourne, VIC.

'The Pwerle Sisters', group exhibition, DACOU Australia & DACOU Melbourne, Port 

Artist's locations

view work by Minnie Pwerle

Awelye Atnwengerrp #625

Awelye Atnwengerrp #651

Awelye Atnwengerrp #652

Awelye Atnwengerrp #697

Awelye Atnwengerrp #698

Awelye Atnwengerrp #699

Bush Melon #566

Women's Ceremony #225

Women's Ceremony #226

Women's Ceremony #564

Women's Ceremony #565

Women's Ceremony #687

Women's Ceremony #700

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